Mississippi Rural Health Association

Mississippi Rural Health Association


NRHA is proud to have CEO Alan Morgan, Chief Policy Officer Carrie Cochran-McClain, and Chief Operations Officer Brock Slabach sharing the #PowerofRural this week at events hosted by Virginia Rural Health Association, Arizona Telemedicine Program, Rural Health Information Hub, NOSORH, Rural Health Association of Tennessee, Inc., Mississippi Rural Health Association, ICAHN - Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network, and more: https://bit.ly/3wP7Lhm #ruralhealth #RuralHealthDay
The Mississippi Core of the RURAL Study at UMMC is partnering with the community advisory boards in Oktibbeha and Panola counties, the American Heart Association, the Mississippi State Medical Association and the Mississippi Rural Health Association to host a virtual health conference concentrated on high blood pressure and stroke awareness during the month of May! Additionally, COVID vaccine updates will be discussed! Local and outside experts will provide important information, share experiences and will be ready to answer questions! Please save the date and time, follow us on Facebook for updates and invite others to join in! Hope to see you there!
This is about you.

The Federal Budget and Rural America

There have been valid concerns about a growing disconnect between rural America and our cities and suburbs.

We are seeing an increasingly divided economy, with growth concentrated in and around wealthier cities in recent decades and rural areas losing population and skewing older as more young people leave for prosperous cities. We have even seen growing health differences, and the opioid crisis has been linked to declining life expectancies in some rural areas.

Unfortunately, despite his claims, President Trump has done little to reverse these trends. His economic and tax policies have primarily benefited wealthy individuals and communities rather than people and regions in need of a helping hand.

Once again, the President’s budget for 2021 shortchanges rural America. Even as economic growth continues to bypass rural areas, the President irrationally reduces investments that would strengthen rural economies and improve the quality of life in smaller communities across the country.

Targets Rural Economic Development with Destructive Cuts

Budget attacks community development programs — Once again, the President’s budget targets programs that are critical to community revitalization efforts.

By completely eliminating the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, local communities would lose resources that meet and support a wide range of unique needs and programs, including Meals on Wheels, housing programs, and community infrastructure improvements. CDBG funds can also leverage additional investment from other sources, multiplying possible benefits for rural communities.

The budget eliminates several other economic development programs that benefit rural areas, including the Economic Development Administration, most of the Agriculture Department’s existing Rural Business-Cooperative Service programs, and local development agencies such as the Delta Regional Authority, the Denali Commission, and the Northern Border Regional Commission. Given the challenges facing rural economies, rural businesses need more assistance right now, not less.

Budget weakens support for farmers — The budget includes cuts to direct funding for crop, livestock, and conservation programs totaling nearly $50 billion over ten years.

Partly as a result of the President’s chaotic and unnecessary trade war, “roughly one-third of farm income will come from Government payments and crop insurance benefits this year” – as the Trump budget itself notes.

But it then goes on to reduce future crop insurance support by $25 billion, compounding the high costs that farmers face in an already strained agricultural economy. It also replaces government funding for meat, poultry, and egg inspections with a user fee that would cost producers $6 billion over ten years.

And the President makes a $9 billion cut to conservation programs designed to improve soil health, adapt to water challenges, and sustainably increase agricultural production at a time when farmers are seeing increasing value in exploring these techniques.

Isolates Rural America and Leaves Small Towns Behind
Trump's budget reduces support for rural transportation — For centuries, the federal government has sought to link rural communities to the nation by building transportation, communications and electrical networks. This budget turns its back on that long tradition. It reduces or eliminates support for Essential Air Service and Amtrak’s long-distance rural routes, and it increases costs for users of inland waterways.

The budget also cuts funding for public broadcasting, which is a vital source of radio programming and information in many rural areas. It proposes changes to the postal service that could lead to reduced service in rural America.

The budget also proposes selling many assets of the regional Power Marketing Administrations (PMAs) that helped electrify much of the nation, and it proposes allowing the PMAs to charge families more for electricity.

These are destructive and irrational proposals that will cut rural Americans off from power, information, and communications services, and further isolate these communities.

Budget halts rural broadband and water infrastructure — The budget also reduces funding for USDA’s Rural Utilities Service by $375 million (28 percent) from the 2020 enacted level. Most significantly, it illogically cuts funding by more than half for the Rural e-Connectivity “ReConnect” Pilot Program, even while acknowledging that broadband deployment in unserved areas is essential to attracting and growing rural businesses.

The budget also reduces support for rural water and wastewater infrastructure grants and loans by $40 million. And it inexplicably eliminates watershed and flood prevention programs in USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, despite the extensive and severe flooding that damaged farmland and delayed planting just this past year.

Endangers the Health of Rural Families
Accessing much-needed health care and health services is often harder for Americans living in rural areas where there are fewer hospitals and specialists. Families are often forced to make long trips to seek care, even in an emergency. Unfortunately, the President’s budget would exacerbate these already serious problems.

Deep Medicaid cuts hurt rural areas —The budget cuts a whopping $900 billion from Medicaid over 10 years, jeopardizing care for seniors in nursing homes, children with disabilities, and people with mental and substance use disorders.

While the budget makes a much-needed investment in the fight against opioid addiction that has rocked rural areas, to be effective, this funding must be partnered with the benefits and services provided by a fully funded Medicaid program. Any success in battling the epidemic using the additional funding would be completely undone by the dramatic coverage losses that would result from these deep and destructive cuts to Medicaid.

Medicare cuts put rural health facilities at risk — The budget cuts a half a trillion dollars from Medicare, which includes policies to reduce payments to hospitals for uncompensated care and bad debt. While the budget supports allowing Medicare to pay for telehealth services provided by rural health clinics, it also reduces Medicare payments to rural health clinics by $1.8 billion over 10 years by restructuring the payment system for these clinics.

At a time when rural America is already more reliant on federal support than other regions and has been rocked by the President’s haphazard trade policies (see Source 2 link below), we should be making sure our rural communities are supported, protected, and strong. Instead, the policies and priorities outlined in President Trump’s budgets have the federal government turn its back on our rural communities and families.

Source 1: https://budget.house.gov/publications/report/trump-budget-devastates-rural-america

The president was already spending double his predecessor to spare farmers the cost of his trade war. Now the price is reaching unsustainable levels. He said, falsely, that the money for the aid would come from tariffs his administration has slapped on billions of dollars of imported goods (and Mexico will pay for the wall). Economists have shown that U.S. businesses and consumers are paying those duties, not China.

Source 2: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/07/14/donald-trump-coronavirus-farmer-bailouts-359932
According to NRHA member Ryan Kelly of the Mississippi Rural Health Association, revenue for most of Mississippi’s rural hospitals and clinics has plummeted 25 percent during the pandemic. “We may get a month later and lose five hospitals, or we may get a month later and not lose one,” Kelly says, noting that a lot depends on federal response. #ruralhealth #COVID19
US Underprepared for Coronavirus Due to Trump Cuts, Say Health Experts

The Trump administration proposed a FY 2021 budget that includes some long- and short-term cuts to several healthcare agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, the CDC, Medicare, and Medicaid.

Several think tanks and advocacy groups expressed dismay at the proposal. "The budget proposes $1 trillion in cuts to Medicaid and Affordable Care Act premium tax credits over 10 years, causing millions of people to lose coverage," Robert Greenstein, president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said in a statement. "It calls for cuts of more than $180 billion over 10 years in basic food assistance for hard-pressed families by slashing SNAP (formerly known as food stamps). It also shrinks assistance for people with disabilities, entirely eliminates a raft of low-income housing programs ... and even calls for large cuts in the The National Institutes of Health (NIH)" -- an important U.S. health agency. It is devoted to medical research. Administratively under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the NIH consists of 20-some separate Institutes and Centers.

Specifically, the administration would reduce NIH's budget by nearly $3 billion from its 2020 allocation, and also zeroes out the budget for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

"Trump is paying for his tax cuts by slashing Medicaid, Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, and Social Security by more than $1 trillion," Neera Tanden, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, said in a statement. "This budget is especially cruel given that inequality has risen to record highs and so many people are struggling. More than 40% of Americans say that they wouldn't be able to come up with $400 in the case of an emergency, and this budget would make things harder for these families to make ends meet."

Chip Kahn, president and CEO of the Federation of American Hospitals, called the overall HHS budget proposal "bad medicine" for vulnerable patients. "The arbitrary cuts to health care programs envisioned in the budget will make the job of America's caregivers much more difficult," he said in a statement. "This is no time to cut the Medicare and Medicaid programs that so many Americans depend on."

The proposed budget also cut the CDC's discretionary budget authority by $1.3 billion in fiscal 2021 compared with fiscal 2020 -- a 19% cut -- including $25 million from public health preparedness and response outlays. Kahn particularly decried the proposed cuts to public health agencies, noting that "The spread of the coronavirus is evidence that we need a strong permanent defense system to stop threats before they start and contain them when they do."

Other discretionary programs to see cuts under the proposal:

Health Resources and Services Administration: -$742 million
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: -$139 million
Administration for Children and Families: -$4.25 billion
Office for Civil Rights: -$9 million
Office of the National Coordinator: -$10 million
Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund: -$96 million

Health safety measures put in place after Ebola outbreak have been scrapped.

The position of global health czar eliminated and CDC funding cut at the worst possible time.

Who Is Responsible?

The Mississippi Rural Health Association is the primary resource for professionals and advocates for rural health in the State. The Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit, and aims to provide resources, education, and advocacy in support of rural health-related matters.

The Association is membership based, and membership is open to anyone that wants to advance the cause of rural health. Various forms of membership are available, and may be found under the "Membership" tab above. Members are eligible for increased benefits, and are able to show their support for rural Mississippi. The Association focuses its collective energy on events and activities that provide

Operating as usual

Timeline photos 05/19/2022

ONE WEEK FROM TODAY: The 9th annual Rural Health Clinic Conference will be held from Thursday, May 26 -
Friday, May 27, 2022 as a virtual conference. This means that you can attend from the comfort of your own home, office, or clinic!

The Rural Health Clinic Conference is a special meeting designed specifically for the rural health clinic members of the Mississippi Rural Health Association.

Register or learn more here: https://ecs.page.link/NcTXM

Timeline photos 05/19/2022

Join Kate Hill from The Compliance Team as she presents a webinar on the Swing Bed Quality Certification Program.
This session will review how a swing bed Quality Certification Program can increase the swing bed census in your CAH.

What else you'll learn:
•Understanding Swing Bed Quality Certification Program
•How to Leverage your Swing Beds
•Why Swing Beds are Important

We’ll discuss the value of these points and some steps to accomplish it.

Watch this webinar on-demand at this link: https://ecs.page.link/VPnnm

Timeline photos 05/18/2022

TOMORROW- Join us for the E&M Guidelines Update presented by Glenn Krauss!
There's still time to register! This virtual event will feature a coding audit vs. chart review and the lessons learned through continuous quality improvement.

Register now: https://ecs.page.link/afng1

Timeline photos 05/16/2022

We're still accepting sponsors for the 2022 Rural Health Clinic Conference at this time!
With several sponsorship levels available, there's something perfect for your company or organization!
Register today! https://ecs.page.link/NcTXM

Timeline photos 05/16/2022

Our partners at Gallagher have developed a series of solutions to tackle savings initiatives and implement innovative strategies in terms of insurance expenditure and proper coverage. As members of the association, we wish to provide you with an opportunity to learn more about the benefits offered by Gallagher and to see if this is a fit for your organization.

This one hour webinar will include the following:

Unique Solutions: Average reduction of 25% on employer insurance spend through hospital-specific pooling, proprietary dividend eligible Trust's, affordable comprehensive voluntary benefits for your employees, and more.

Scope & Mission: Gallagher has helped over 1,000 hospitals across the nation operate with a thicker margin while combing through contracts to make sure physicians, nurses, and additional staff are covered at peak industry benchmarks.

Watch this webinar on-demand here: https://ecs.page.link/AauDy

Timeline photos 05/12/2022

On-Demand: Breaking Down Silos in Your Clinical Revenue Cycle

Revenue cycle is critical to the success of rural and community hospitals, but this often breaks down with the intentional or unintentional creation of work silos. An efficient revenue cycle requires the breakdown of these silos into a uniform, streamline process. Such will result in increased revenue and quality coding, and it will create huge value for the hospital. This webinar will explain the issue with silo creation and demonstrate opportunities for improvement with use of logistical transformation and software.

Register here: https://ecs.page.link/ECMzY

UMMC, Blue Cross agree to mediator in insurance contract dispute 05/11/2022

UMMC, Blue Cross agree to mediator in insurance contract dispute

UMMC, Blue Cross agree to mediator in insurance contract dispute https://ecs.page.link/RTv4T

UMMC, Blue Cross agree to mediator in insurance contract dispute Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi and University of Mississippi Medical Center have agreed on a mediator to oversee the process to settle the contract dispute that has left

Timeline photos 05/09/2022

A group purchasing organization (GPO) helps healthcare providers realize savings and efficiencies by aggregating purchasing volume to negotiate savings with vendors. Alliant Purchasing is a GPO with the expertise needed in navigating the healthcare industry. As your advisor and partner, Alliant guides you in finding optimal solutions for additional value in your supply chain.
Register for this informative webinar here: https://ecs.page.link/gjxsb

Timeline photos 05/06/2022

Join the Mississippi Rural Health Association for the E & M Guidelines Update webinar on May 18, 2022 from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. central time. This virtual event will feature a coding audit vs. chart review and the lessons learned through continuous quality improvement.


Timeline photos 05/06/2022

The Mississippi Rural Health Association, in partnership with the Mississippi State Department of Health, Office of Tobacco Control, has continued working together focusing on “The Tobacco and Vaping Dependent Patients.” The MRHA provides webinar(s) for statewide rural health clinics with valuable resources for treating tobacco and vaping dependence. Clinics receive the recommended guidelines and standards to support screenings and referrals for the tobacco and vaping dependent patient’s treatment. The MRHA offers Nursing CEs for providers and staff who attend the webinar(s). Tobacco and vaping education materials are also provided to participating clinics upon request for patient use. For more information on clinical tobacco prevention resources and training, please feel free to recommend a Mississippi Rural Health Center to Lorrie Davis at lorrie[email protected] with the Mississippi Rural Health Association at 601.898.3001 or https://ecs.page.link/NxXT1

Timeline photos 05/05/2022

Join Jonathan Pantenburg and Gregory Wolf in this 60-minute on-demand webinar, brought to you by The Mississippi Office of Rural Health and Mississippi Rural Health Association.
Register here: https://ecs.page.link/6GF7x

Timeline photos 05/04/2022

View the funding opportunity here: https://ecs.page.link/mEvjJ

Medical Robotics and Telemedicine 05/03/2022

Medical Robotics and Telemedicine

Medical Robotics and Telemedicine

Medical Robotics and Telemedicine By: Andrea Casiano, Beverly Banez, Sunitha Dharman, & Trentan Pecorelli University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences Instructor: Dr. Ellen Jones Although medical robots made their first appe…

Timeline photos 05/02/2022

Coming soon to a computer or mobile device near you!!!
Join us for the 2022 Rural Health Clinic Conference- a fully virtual event designed for rural clinics!
Grow your expertise! Nursing CEUs will be offered.

Register here: https://ecs.page.link/7VDzu

Timeline photos 05/02/2022

This webinar will give a broad scope update about care of patients with sickle cell disease, cover the 2014 NHLBI Guidelines, discuss treatments and therapy, and more.
Register here: https://ecs.page.link/MQyj6

Timeline photos 05/02/2022

CMS releases long-term care hospital IPPS proposed rule


On April 28, FDA announced two proposed product standards: one to prohibit menthol as a characterizing flavor in cigarettes and one to prohibit all characterizing flavors (other than tobacco) in cigars. These actions have the potential to significantly reduce disease and death from combusted tobacco product use, the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., by reducing addiction and youth experimentation, increasing the number of smokers that quit, and advancing health equity by addressing key health disparities.
These proposed product standards are based on clear science and evidence establishing the addictiveness and harm of these products and build on the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which prohibited all characterizing flavors (other than tobacco and menthol) in cigarettes in 2009. They are also a critical piece of the Administration’s reignited Cancer Moonshot to reduce the death rate from cancer by at least 50 percent over the next 25 years; tobacco use is a leading cause of cancer and death from cancer, and approximately 30 percent of all cancer deaths in the United States are caused by smoking.
Beginning May 4, the public can provide comments on these proposed rules. FDA will review all of the comments, as we consider our future actions. The agency also will convene public listening sessions on June 13 and June 15 to expand direct engagement with the public, including affected communities. The listening sessions are another opportunity for individuals, communities, and organizations to share their perspectives with FDA and will be recorded and submitted to the dockets. FDA is especially interested to hear from those individuals or communities who may be less likely or less able to provide formal written comments through the standard process of docket submission. Additional details, such as the time of the listening sessions and registration information, will be posted on our website soon.
The public will have the opportunity to submit either electronic or written comments directly to the dockets on the proposed rules through July 5.

Read more: https://ecs.page.link/dLNaj


HRSA funds for health disparities, maternal care, more

Timeline photos 04/28/2022

Join us to learn how to save on purchasing! This webinar will introduce association members to the preferred group purchasing organization (GPO) Alliant as well as a top vendor and manufacturer of healthcare products, Medline.

Timeline photos 04/26/2022

The Mississippi Rural Health Association, in partnership with the Mississippi State Department of Health, Office of Tobacco Control, is offering a special webinar for rural health clinic staff.
This webinar will provide information to clinicians and staff on how to better identify and treat patients using tobacco and vaping products. The webinar will also detail billing codes and reimbursement opportunities for such services as well as resources to support you with treating your patients.
If your rural health clinic is interested in participating, this webinar is offered at no cost.

Upon participation, your clinic will receive tobacco and vaping prevention resources for the tobacco dependent patients.

Register here: https://ecs.page.link/DQUDn

Timeline photos 04/25/2022

This VIRTUAL LIVE Bootcamp series covers what revenue cycle and coding/billing staff in CAHs need to know related to their documentation, professional and facility coding, and medical billing processes.
Register here: https://ecs.page.link/mD9qt

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