Category Archives: Family, Home, & Community

Census data, housing. food and drugs.

A Conversation with Mark Lindsay

Radio interview with Mark Lindsay, an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and the Medical Director for Allevant, a training and education company that helps Critical Access Hospitals manage post-acute care. Discussion includes Lindsay’s work at Mayo and the work of Allevant, Critical Access Hospitals and swing-bed programs, and population and preventative health, among other things.

MAP Rural Health Workgroup 2017-2018 Call for Nominations

The National Quality Forum (NQF) is establishing a rural health workgroup under the Measure Applications Partnership (MAP) to advise the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on the selection of rural-relevant measures for use in certain federal value-based purchasing and quality reporting programs. The MAP Rural Health Workgroup will consist of no more than 25 members with expertise in the areas of rural health, program implementation, and quality measurement. The NQF is accepting nominations through September 29, 2017 at 6:00 pm Eastern time.

HHS Commits $144.1 Million in Additional Funding for Opioid Crisis

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced $144.1 million in grants to prevent and treat opioid addiction. These grants will be administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) through six grant programs: First Responders, the State Pilot Grant for Treatment of Pregnant and Postpartum Women, Building Communities of Recovery, Improving Access to Overdose Treatment, Targeted Capacity Expansion: Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), and the Services Grant Program for Residential Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women.

Opioid Crisis Takes a Toll on Rural Older Adults

Highlights the impacts of the opioid epidemic on older people living in rural areas. Those dealing with addiction face more limited access to treatment, while those who are not addicted may still be affected by the diversion of community resources to address the needs of those who are. Discusses the scope of the opioid epidemic, provides an overview of access issues in rural areas that affect older adults, explains how elderly people can become addicted through valid prescriptions, and touches on some potential solutions.

VA Releases Veteran Suicide Statistics by State

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) released findings from its analysis of veteran suicide data in their State Data report. They found that the risk for suicide is 22% higher for veterans than for non-veteran adults, that 65% of veterans who commit suicide are 50 or older, and that the highest rates of suicide are in Western states and in states with smaller populations.

Rural Hospitals Struggle To Stock Expensive Drugs That Could Save Lives

Rural healthcare providers often struggle to stock sufficient quantities of certain kinds of life-saving prescription drugs because of their high price tag. A provision expanded under the Affordable Care Act extended a discount program for hospitals that primarily serve low-income people to cover rural providers as well. However, this provision includes an exception for “orphan drugs,” or prescription medications that treat rare diseases, meaning they are not discounted for rural facilities. Because many prescriptions are granted orphan drug status while they are being tested on rare conditions, this exception prevents rural hospitals from getting discounts on widely-used and life-saving medications.

Indiana, Reeling from Opioid Crisis, Arms Officials with Data

Highlights Indiana’s online opioid database and how it’s being used to combat the opioid epidemic. This database includes data on drug arrests, drug seizures, death records, pharmacy robberies, overdose-related emergency calls, and the use of naloxone. Also delves into what other states are doing with data in regards to the opioid crisis and ways that this kind of data could be used in the future.

Broadband Analysis: Scrappy Wireless ISPs Get the Job Done

Discusses the utility of Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) in bringing higher speed internet access to rural areas. Although WISPs typically provide slower internet than broadband, they tend to be quicker and cheaper to build and implement, and for most families and small businesses the speed is adequate for their needs. Also touches on hybrid fiber/wireless systems.

Drones Carrying Blood Could Be the Future of Rural Medicine

Details the results of a recent study on the impact of drone transport on blood samples. In this study, blood samples driven in a car were compared to blood samples transported in a drone for 3 hours over an Arizona desert to see if the motion of the drone or the outside temperature would affect the blood. Studies like this bring the use of drones for medical transports much closer to becoming a reality, which could potentially have significant impacts in rural communities.

More Opioid Prescriptions than People in Some California Counties

In rural and semi-rural areas of California, prescription drug use and death rates are significantly higher than the state average. In 2016, some counties had more prescriptions filled than there are people in the county. Includes an overview of state legislation proposed in response to the opioid epidemic as well as state-specific data and maps.