Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

September 2, 2016

What’s New

New Report:  Rural-Urban Differences in Coverage from Private Insurers.  Today, the Minnesota Rural Health Research Center released a new brief on the number of insurers available to consumers in rural and urban counties through the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace (FFM).  The researchers found that, of the 2,512 counties served by FFMs, 34% had only one or two insurers offering coverage. Of those, 80% of the counties were rural.

To access the MN brief, visit:

In June of this year, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation released analysis of the Affordable Care Act’s impact on individuals living in rural communities.  Key highlights from that report:

  • Coverage: Rural individuals, like those living in urban and suburban areas, have seen large coverage gains under the ACA – about an 8 percentage point increase from before the first open enrollment period through early 2015.
  • Premium tax credits: Among the 88 percent of rural consumers with premium tax credits, the average net monthly premium increased by $5, or 4 percent, between 2015 and 2016.
  • Access to care: Individuals in rural areas have seen improvements in access to care; the share who report being unable to afford needed care declined by nearly 6 percentage points from before the first open enrollment period through early 2015.

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Now is the time to REGISTER for the Get Link’d 2nd Annual Conference

August 30, 2016

November 15-16, 2016
The Hilton Garden Inn
3300 Vandiver Drive
Columbia, MO

Our Rural Health Workshops will focus on:

  • Health Disparities
  • Rural Communities & the Health Insurance Marketplace
  • Missouri Rural Hospitals Update
  • Recruiting for the Generations
  • Alternative Payment Methods
  • Navigating Stark and Anti-Kickback Laws

Registration forms and agenda can be found at

CPC+ Application Period

August 26, 2016

This month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) opened the application period for practices to participate in the new primary care model, Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC+), which is available to practices in Kansas and Missouri.  This model is an important opportunity to increase access and comprehensiveness of care to patients in rural communities. The CPC+ practice application period runs from August 1 – September 15, 2016.

CPC+ offers a unique chance for eligible primary care practices in 14 regions and states across the country to receive additional financial and technical support from Medicare and other payers.  Across these 14 regions, CMS’ goal is to have a large geographic spread and to ensure that rural practices are well represented in CPC+. In addition to the added support practices will receive from Medicare in CPC+, some may also be eligible for a 5% bonus payment for participating in an Advanced Alternative Payment Model through the proposed CMS Quality Payment Program.

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2017 NHSC Students to Service Loan Repayment Program Application Cycle is Now Open!

August 16, 2016

Are you a medical or dental student in your final year of school? 

The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Students to Service Loan Repayment Program (S2S LRP) provides up to $120,000 to medical (MD and DO) or dental (DDS or DMD) students in their final year of school in return for a commitment to provide primary health care full time for at least 3 years at an approved NHSC site in a Health Professional Shortage Area of greatest need.

Application Guidance

2017 Application and Program Guidance (PDF – 491 KB) has the detailed information you need to apply. Please read carefully before you start your application.

Accepting applications through October 13, 7:30 p.m. ET


Students to Service loan repayment award recipients receive up to $120,000 (tax free) for at least three years of full-time service at an approved NHSC site in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) of greatest need. Upon completion of residency for medical students (dental residency is encouraged but not required), recipients serve as primary care providers in an NHSC-approved site in a HPSA of greatest need.

Technical Assistance

Application and Program Guidance Webinar
(Thursday, September 8 from 7-9 p.m. ET)

Technical Assistance Call & Online Chat
(Thursday, September 29 from 7-9 p.m. ET)

(Access info is the same for both events)

Number: 1-888-324-4392
Passcode: 1058390

Plan Ahead

The program is expected to be competitive. Please note that applicants who have federally-serviced loans will need to create a FSA ID before beginning the application process.


Video on New Cardiac Rehabilitation Program That Brings Care to Rural Veterans’ Homes

August 16, 2016

Video on New Cardiac Rehabilitation Program That Brings Care to Rural Veterans’ Homes

“I get to the point where I look forward to Joan calling me on Wednesday afternoons. You know three o’clock comes and I know I have to be near the phone and be ready for her call, and then I give her all my numbers. She’ll check with me to see if I have any pain, how the week went and so forth, which I find is good,” explained rural Veteran Oscar Bourbeau. Bourbeau participates in a new home-based cardiac rehabilitation program offered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Scientific studies show that people who complete a cardiac rehabilitation program following a heart attack or bypass surgery can increase their life expectancy by up to five years, and have:

  • 27 percent lower cardiac death rates,
  • 25 percent fewer fatal heart attacks, and
  • An improved quality of life.

To learn more about the expanding program, watch the three minute “Home-Based Cardiac Care for Rural Veterans” video at

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