Healthline News | Written by Shawn Radcliffe | Published on February 15, 2017
In recent years, many policies have chipped away at the rural health safety net that ensures that people living in remote areas still have access to healthcare.
When Terry Fulmer’s 90-year-old aunt fell and tore her shoulder ligaments, she had surgery in Albany, a two-hour drive from her home in rural upstate New York.
“Maybe she could have gotten care in a closer town. But her daughter lives in Albany so she had to go there because that’s where she recovered. She couldn’t feed herself, she couldn’t dress herself,” said Fulmer, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., president of the John A. Hartford Foundation in New York, a foundation dedicated to improving the care of older adults.
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Feb 7, 2017 -- Details the panel discussion of several rural health leaders at the annual Rural Health Care Leadership Conference. Discussion included, among other things, innovative ways rural hospitals have kept themselves afloat, the findings of the American Hospital Association Task Force on Ensuring Access in Vulnerable Communities report, and the challenges as well as the potential of telemedicine for rural areas.
The Health Educator-Navigator position is a part-time (20 hours/wk) benefits eligible position w/ possible nights and weekends and frequent travel in Mohave, Coconino, Apache and Navajo counties.
Jan 27, 2017 Ronald Hansen and Ken Alltucker: “Arizona’s Ducey cites ‘Obamacare’ harm in seeking repeal, but law’s positives complicate issue.” The Arizona Republic | azcentral.
With more than a half-million Arizona residents gaining health coverage through the health law’s marketplace, Medicaid expansion and KidsCare restoration, fewer uninsured patients are leaving behind unpaid bills. Hospitals must assess and stabilize all patients who seek care, regardless of their ability to pay.
A statewide survey showed Arizona hospitals have significantly reduced unpaid bills since ACA coverage expansion began Jan. 1, 2014. Arizona hospitals reported uncompensated care of $395 million in fiscal year 2016, down from $746 million in 2014, according to the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association survey.
“The data is unequivocal on this,” said Dr. Daniel Derksen, a University of Arizona professor and director of the Center for Rural Health.
Jan 27, 2017 Lorraine Rivera: Episode 300: One Week In, Trump Sets Sights on Health Care
A look at impacts on Southern Arizona of the president-s first actions. Arizona Public Media | NPR.
Arizona is one of 31 states that expanded the Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act. We ask how the state will respond to changes following Trump’s announced plans to “ease the burdens” on individuals and the health care industry.
Before the Affordable Care Act, 1.2 million Arizonans were without insurance. Today, it’s about 770,000. Open enrollment ends Jan. 31.
On the program:
- Christine Corieri, senior policy adviser to Gov. Doug Ducey (4:45 to 10:35)
- Dan Derksen, University of Arizona Center for Rural Health (10:45 to 17:15)
- Julia Strange, Tucson Medical Center VP of community benefit (17:15 to 27:45)
By BOB CHRISTIE Associated Press Jan 20, 2017 (Interviewed, background data provided)
PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is urging Congress not to repeal former President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul without a well-developed replacement plan, suggesting in a letter that it may take three years for a new system to be fully implemented.
In a letter and 15-page list of suggestions obtained by The Associated Press, Ducey urged House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy to eliminate many of the basic insurance requirements in Obama’s law and allow states to again set their own insurance rules.
Ducey is urging McCarthy to keep tax subsidies for individuals in place for now to keep the marketplace that now covers 180,000 Arizonans from melting down. And he wants state flexibility for Medicaid plans, including limiting coverage in lean times and to require healthy individuals to work or seek jobs to maintain their coverage. Those plans now cover nearly 2 million people, including 400,000 under Medicaid expansion that’s part of the Affordable Care Act.
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Written by Shawn Radcliffe | Published on January 20, 2017 | Healthline News
Fresh air. Wide open spaces. Starry skies above.
By: Alexa Liacko | January 20, 2017 | 1min, 33 sec | KGUN9 TV
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) -
By Stephanie Innes | Arizona Daily Star
Front Page of the Sunday Edition Jan 21, 2017
Until she got health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, Tucson real estate broker Jennie James routinely spent $12,000 per year in health bills related to the chronic illness she’s had since childhood.
If this election made anything clear, it may be that there’s a very large divide between rural America and urban America.
Most rural voters cast their votes for President Donald Trump, while the vast majority of people living in major cities — especially on either coast — voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton.
But that divide goes beyond the ballot box. A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a striking gap in health between rural and urban Americans.
According to the CDC, about 46 million Americans, or about 15 percent of the population, live in rural areas. And they are at higher risk of death from heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries and stroke.
So, what’s behind this? According to the CDC, rural Americans tend to be older and sicker than people who live in cities. There are higher rates of poverty in rural areas of the country, and fewer people have access to health care or health insurance.
And, according to Dan Derksen, director for the Center for Rural Health at the University of Arizona, poverty has a lot to do with this.
“In rural areas, there’s often not the job opportunities that there may be in other areas,” he said. “The jobs that tend to be available may not pay as well as other jobs that might be available in a more urbanized setting, and there may not be, if you are employed, the employer may not offer health insurance.”
And, he said, the effect of poverty has ripple effects on the health-care network in rural communities.
In Arizona, he said, we have cut the number of uninsured people in half since the Affordable Care Act went into effect.
“And that really helped these safety net, rural health providers and clinics and hospitals because it dramatically reduced their uncompensated care, what also called charity care,” he said. “When you have more people covered and there’s a payment source, it tends to help keep a healthy bottom line for these facilities and the health providers in these rural communities to continue to take care of people.”
Derksen also says the opioid epidemic has hit rural communities hard, but he thinks Arizona is taking a proactive approach to try to stop the rising numbers of heroin-related deaths.
Another big challenge facing rural communities is that there just aren’t enough health-care providers, according to Dr. Carlos Gonzales, assistant dean at the University of Arizona, where he runs the Rural Health Professions Program.
He spent much of his career, before coming to UA, working as what he calls a “frontier doc” in Patagonia, a small town south of Tucson.
And, he said the problem for patients in rural communities is simple: they’re rural. “Often, it takes them half-hour, 45 minutes to get to my office,” he said. Then, after an evaluation and waiting for an ambulance or helicopter, they’ll make it to a hospital to be taken care of.
"So, that golden hour that they often speak about for these acute problems, is long gone,” he said.
The other problems, Gonzales says, is the cost of health care. Even after the Affordable Care Act meant that more low-income people could get health insurance, he said that many people couldn’t afford expensive deductibles on their plans.
The physician shortage in Arizona is another important factor. Since he left his clinic in Patagonia in 2006, they have not been able to find another full-time provider to fill his role.
The Rural Health Professions Program at UA, which Gonzales is in charge of, works to get medical students into rural areas for training with the hope they’ll stay and work in those areas.
But, he said, “We need them in all fields. We need family physicians, we need pediatricians, we need internal medicine specialists, we need Ob-gyns, we need surgeons,” he said.
Don’t miss this opportunity to learn how to write better grant proposals, turn rurality to your advantage, learn to connect with funders, and more. Participants will benefit from learning about a range of approaches to grant writing from an array of rural health partners. This series is perfect for beginners seeking to gain the skills to research and draft winning proposals from various agencies.
The NOSORH Rural Health Grant Writing Institute was developed to meet the unique needs of rural grant writers — like you!
Participants in the course will benefit from:
- Learning assignments to apply what they learn to their everyday work and build a personal grant resource library.
- Regular updates on upcoming grant opportunities.
- A certificate of completion at the end of the class series after completing 6 of 9 classes and 4 of 6 homework assignments.
- Connecting with other grant writers via the NOSORH Grant Writing group to learn about the latest hot topics in grant writing.
Registration ends March 29th, 2017 — class size will be limited and will be offered on a first-come basis, with a limit of 50 students, so ensure your place in this one-of-a-kind training. This is an opportunity for anyone looking to enhance their grant writing skills!
Registration Fee: $500
For more information contact Kassie Clarke (888) 391-7258 ext. 105 or at email@example.com
Don’t miss your chance to participate. Sign up today!
At least 85 percent of patients at Banner Page Hospital responded on their surveys that nurses always communicated well. In Arizona, the average is 77 percent, slightly lower than the national average of 80 percent.
The figures are from CMS' Hospital Compare website and represent HCAHPS scores collected from January 2015 through December 2015, the most recent data available.
Page Hospital — 85 percent (I made a change from below, because our reports from the Federal Office say 85%)
Note: Hospitals with fewer than 100 completed surveys were excluded from consideration for this list. (which is most of the Critical Access Hospitals)
Presentation of the award to the Holy Cross Hospital team on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017. From left to right – Dina Rojas-Sanchez, Director of Support Services, Holy Cross Hospital; Mark Valenzuela, Board Chair, Holy Cross Hospital; Debra Knapheide, Chief Executive Officer/CNO/COO, Holy Cross Hospital; Joyce Hospodar, Senior Advisor, Rural Programs, Center for Rural Health, The University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health; Les Caid, Fire Chief, Rio Rico Fire; Matt Eckhoff, Program Director, Rio Rico Fire Community Integrated Paramedicine Program.
Nogales, AZ – January 18, 2017 – Carondelet Holy Cross Hospital has received national recognition for demonstrating innovation in emergency medical services (EMS) that benefit patients and members of rural communities. The hospital – one of only four in the nation to be honored in this round of nominations – received the Critical Access Hospital Recognition certificate from the National Rural Health Resource Center for its work with the Community Healthcare Integrated Paramedicine Program (CHIPP).
The certificate was established by the Center and the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) to recognize the excellent work performed by critical access hospitals (CAHs) and other rural safety net providers throughout the country. The recognition promotes excellence and innovation and honors the achievements and results of rural safety net providers while publicizing successful strategies.
The CHIPP program, which was developed to help address the needs of individuals who frequently use the 911 system and hospital Emergency Department, is intended to ensure these indivuals are treated in a more proactive and cost-effective manner. Holy Cross Hospital is a key stakeholder in the success of this program, acting as an advisor and promoter and as a key contact for providers in the medical community, and providing referrals to the program upon discharge from the hospital.
“Holy Cross Hospital is a proud partner in the Community Healthcare Integrated Paramedicine Program and continues to find innovative models of care to provide quality healthcare for all Santa Cruz County communities,” said Debra Knapheide, CEO/COO/CNO at Holy Cross Hospital, “We are proud to be recognized for our work in this collaborative effort to deliver healthcare that is affordable, high-quality and necessary for the good of our community. Holy Cross Hospital is committed to keeping pace with healthcare transformation, which is key to sustaining access to health services for rural communities.”
Matt Eckhoff, Director of Rio Rico Medical and Fire District’s Community Integrated Paramedicine Program, added: “Today’s healthcare system is working hard to connect the dots between all the different folks who provide healthcare. From the ambulance to the emergency room to the primary care provider, the more we all talk to each other, the better we can provide excellent care to those we serve. Carondelet Holy Cross Hospital’s engaged leadership team has been instrumental in connecting those dots to better serve the Santa Cruz County community.”
Posted Jan 17, 2017, 11:46 pm
By: Arren Kimbel-Sannit | Cronkite News
These are the two reports on the impact of funding cuts by state should the Prevention and Public Health Fund be eliminated as part of ACA repeal:
Three UA faculty members have been appointed to the national advisory board for the third national Telemedicine and Telehealth Service Provider Showcase, which brings together companies that provide medical specialty services through telemedicine technology with hospitals and health care providers. Dr. Joseph Alpert, professor of medicine in the College of Medicine – Tucson, Dr. Daniel Derksen, director of the Arizona Center for Rural Health, and Dr. Joe G.N. "Skip" Garcia, professor of medicine, will join the 25-member board, whose members are nationally recognized as thought leaders, health care innovators and champions who have made major contributions in telemedicine. The showcase will be held Oct. 2-3 in Phoenix. Click here to see the full list of board members.