Public Inspection: HHS, OCR: Request for Information on Modifying HIPAA Rules to Improve Coordinated Care
Prepublication notice of proposed rule from the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) seeking comments on potential modifications to HIPPA Rules to promote information sharing for care coordination and value-based healthcare. Comments will be due 60 days after official publication of the notice in the Federal Register, which is scheduled for December 14, 2018. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - December 12, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

CMS: Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals
The Centers for Medicare& Medicaid Services (CMS) announces revisions to the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Survey (HCAHPS) or CAHPS Hospital Survey. The revision removes three pain management questions to help address concerns related to opioid prescriptions. CMS also announces an extension of Student Health Insurance Coverage information collection. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - December 11, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

CDC: Requests for Information: Advancing Tobacco Control Practices to Prevent Initiation of Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults, Eliminate Exposure to Secondhand Smoke, and Identify and Eliminate Tobacco-Related Disparities
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requests information on ways to identify and eliminate tobacco-related disparities, eliminate secondhand smoke exposure, and prevent youth and young adults from initiating tobacco use. Written comments are due February 11, 2019. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - December 11, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

CMS, HHS: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Adoption of the Methodology for the HHS-Operated Permanent Risk Adjustment Program for the 2018 Benefit Year Final Rule
Notice of final rule from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to adopt the risk adjustment methodology that HHS previously established for the 2018 benefit year. This action is a result of the February 2018 district court ruling that vacated the use of statewide average premium as a basis for the HHS-operated risk adjustment methodology for the 2014-2018 benefit years. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - December 10, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

Census Bureau: Innovations for Public Opinion Research
The Census Bureau is requesting comments on innovations in tracking public opinion towards the 2020 Census and the Census Bureau. They would also like comments on innovations for tracking information-seeking and sharing behaviors that could affect participation in the decennial census or public opinion or knowledge regarding the census or the Census Bureau. The Census is particularly interested in public opinion research based on internet searches and social networking sites and may be interested in collaborating on research with a nonprofit or government agency. Comments are due February 8, 2019. (Source: Federal Register...
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - December 10, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

DOL: Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses
On behalf of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the Department of Labor (DOL) requests comments on revisions to the "Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses" (SOII). The BLS would add Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) assigned identification numbers to the SOII on a voluntary basis to improve OSHA and BLS data matching. Comments are due January 9, 2019. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - December 10, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

FCC: Promoting Investment in the 3550-3700 MHz Band
The Federal Communications Commission announces a final rule adopting changes to Priority Access Licenses (PAL) to encourage the rapid development of advanced wireless technologies, including 5G. Changes the license area from census tracts to counties, revises the competitive bidding rules, and more. Addresses the potential impacts for rural areas. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - December 7, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

CMS: Medicare Program: Changes to the Medicare Claims and Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage Determination Appeals Procedures, Correction
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announces corrections to theOctober 10, 2018 proposed rule revising the process for filing appeals for adverse claims benefits determinations. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - December 6, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

HHS: Proposed Objectives for Healthy People 2030; Correction
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services corrects thepreviously announced comment due date for theHealthy People 2030 Framework. Comments are now due January 17, 2019. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - December 4, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

HRSA: Charter Renewals: National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice
The Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) announces the renewal of the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice (NACNEP) charter, authorizing the Council to operate until November 30, 2020. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - December 3, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

HHS: Meetings: Physician-Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee Required by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act; Correction
Notice from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) correcting the 2018 Physician-Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee (PTAC) meeting dates originally announcedFebruary 05, 2018. Corrections include updating the registration link and shortening the December meeting to one day. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 30, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

CMS: Modernizing Part D and Medicare Advantage to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out of Pocket Expenses
Notice of proposed rulemaking from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to amend the Medicare Advantage (MA) program (Part C) and Prescription Drug Benefit program (Part D) regulations to support the health and drug plans' negotiation for lower prices and to reduce out-of-pocket expenses for Medicare enrollees. Comments on the proposed rule are due by January 25, 2019. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 30, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

CMS: Medicare Program: Changes to Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment Systems and Quality Reporting Programs; Correction
Notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services making corrections to thecomment period end date for the rule with the same title. The corrected date is January 2, 2019. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 30, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

HHS: 340B Drug Pricing Program Ceiling Price and Manufacturer Civil Monetary Penalties Regulation
The Health Resources and Services Administration announces an effective date change for theJanuary 5, 2017 final rule setting the 340B ceiling price calculation and defining civil monetary penalties. The final rule will now be effective January 1, 2019. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 30, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

HHS: Meetings: Physician-Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee Required by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act; Correction
Notice from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) correcting the 2018 Physician-Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee (PTAC) meeting dates originally announcedFebruary 05, 2018. Corrections include updating the registration link and shortening the December meeting to one day. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 30, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

AHRQ: Common Formats for Patient Safety Data Collection
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality announces the availability ofCommon Formats for Surveillance —Hospital Version 0.2 Beta for patient safety and healthcare quality reporting. Comments are accepted on an ongoing basis. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 29, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

USDA: Revision of Delegations of Authority
Notice from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) of a final rule adding and modifying delegations of authority. Among other changes, the rule transfers some authority from the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS), and Rural Housing Service (RHS) to the Rural Development (RD) Business Center. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 29, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

CMS: Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
The Centers for Medicare& Medicaid Services (CMS) is seeking comment regarding revisions to an information collection for Applications for Medicare Prescription Drug Plan 2020 Contracts and a new information collection to evaluate the Quality Improvement Organizations (QIO) current focus on Medication Safety and Adverse Drug Event Prevention, including opioid misuse and overdose. Comments are due December 31, 2018. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 29, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

HHS: Federal Financial Participation in State Assistance Expenditures; Federal Matching Shares for Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program, and Aid to Needy Aged, Blind, or Disabled Persons for October 1, 2019 Through September 30, 2020
The Department of Health and Human Services has released the Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAP), Enhanced Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (eFMAP), and disaster-recovery FMAP adjustments for the period of October 1, 2019 through September 30, 2020. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 28, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

Public Inspection: CMS: Modernizing Part D and Medicare Advantage to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out of Pocket Expenses
Pre-publication notice of proposed rulemaking from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to amend the Medicare Advantage (MA) program (Part C) and Prescription Drug Benefit program (Part D) regulations to support the health and drug plans' negotiation for lower prices and to reduce out-of-pocket expenses for Medicare enrollees. Comments on the proposed rule are due by January 25, 2019. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 27, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

HHS: Solicitation for Written Comments on Proposed Objectives for Healthy People 2030
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is seeking comment on the proposed Healthy People 2030 objectives and invites newly proposed objectives for consideration to be included in the plan. TheHealthy People 2030 Framework is available on the Healthy People website. Comments are due by January 11, 2019. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 27, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

USDA: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking comment on an information collection to measure the prevalence and cause of food security, food insecurity, and very low food security for the U.S. population and selected subgroups. Comments on the information collection are due by December 26, 2018. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 26, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

CMS: Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is seeking comment on the following information collections: 1) Notice of Research Exception under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act; 2) Data Collection to Support Eligibility Determinations for Insurance Affordability Programs and Enrollment through Affordable Insurance Exchanges, Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program Agencies (CMS-10440); and 3) State-based Exchange Annual Report Tool (SMART). Comments are due by January 25, 2019. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 26, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

CMS: Privacy Act of 1974; Matching Program
Notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services seeking comment on a new matching program between CMS and the Peace Corps entitled "Verification of Eligibility for Minimum Essential Coverage Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Through a Peace Corps Health Benefit Plan." Under this program, the Peace Corps will provide CMS with data identifying all volunteers and the dates when each is eligible for coverage under a Peace Corps health benefit plan. The data will be used to determine eligibility and the amount of financial assistance available to them when they are applying for or enrolle...
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 26, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

USDA: Rural Development Environmental Regulation for Rural Infrastructure Projects; Rule
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development (RD) and its sub-agencies have issued a final rule to update the Environmental Policies and Procedures regulation to allow the agencies limited flexibility to obligate federal funds for infrastructure projects prior to completion of the environmental review, while ensuring full compliance with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) procedures prior to project construction and disbursement of any RD funding. The rule is being filed concurrently with a proposed rule on the same action and is effective January 7, 2019, unless significant adverse comments a...
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 23, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

USDA: Rural Development Environmental Regulation for Rural Infrastructure Projects; Proposed Rule
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development (RD) and its sub-agencies have issued a proposed rule to update the Environmental Policies and Procedures regulation to allow the agencies limited flexibility to obligate federal funds for infrastructure projects prior to completion of the environmental review, while ensuring full compliance with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) procedures prior to project construction and disbursement of any RD funding. This proposed rule is being filed concurrently with a direct final rule on the same action as the Agency considers this a non-controversial actio...
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 23, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

CMS: Medicare Program; Revisions to Payment Policies Under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2019; Medicare Shared Savings Program Requirements; Quality Payment Program; Medicaid Promoting Interoperability Program; Quality Payment Program Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstance Policy for the 2019 MIPS Payment Year; Provisions From the Medicare Shared Savings Program Accountable Care OrganizationsPathways to Success; and Expanding the Use of Telehealth Services for the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder Under the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention That Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act
Notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services of a final rule and interim final rule to address changes to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) and other Medicare Part B payment policies and finalize policies included in the interim final rule entitled "Medicare Program; CY 2018 Updates to the Quality Payment Program; and Quality Payment Program: Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstance Policy for the Transition Year" to address the uncontrollable circumstances that MIPS eligible clinicians faced due to hurricanes in calendar year 2017. Also addresses some of the changes proposed in the Medicare ...
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 23, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

CMS: Medicare Program: Changes to Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment Systems and Quality Reporting Programs
Notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services of a final rule with comment period to revise the Medicare Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and the Medicare Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) payment system for calendar year 2019. Among other things, this final rule updates the requirements for the Hospital Outpatient Quality Reporting (OQR) program and the ASC Quality Reporting program, as well as the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) Survey to remove communication about pain questions. The final rule is effective on January 1, 2019 and comments are due...
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 21, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

CMS: Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is seeking comment on the following information collections: 1) Medicare Coverage of Items and Services in FDA Investigational Device Exemption Clinical Studies - Revision of Medicare Coverage; 2) Generic Clearance for the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network; and 3) Hospitals and Health Care Complex Cost Report. Comments are due by January 22, 2019. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 20, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

CDC: Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act Review
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is seeking public comment on an information collection seeking information from rural providers on challenges they face in diagnosing, treating, and managing traumatic brain injury (TBI), and to determine where gaps in services in rural communities can be addressed to improve TBI outcomes. Comments are due within 30 days of this notice. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 20, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

SAMHSA: Notice of Meeting for the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC)
Announcement of a public meeting of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC) on December 11, 2018. Agenda items include an update on federal efforts related to serious mental illness and serious emotional disturbance, and federal implementation of ISMICC recommendations. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 20, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

CMS: Medicare and Medicaid Programs: Application From the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities, Inc. (AAAASF) for Continued Approval of Its Ambulatory Surgical Center Accreditation Program
Notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approving the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities, Inc. (AAAASF) for continued recognition as a national accrediting organization for Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASCs) participating in Medicare and Medicaid programs. The approval is effective November 27, 2018 through November 27, 2024. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 19, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

CMS: Medicare, Medicaid, and Children's Health Insurance Programs; Provider Enrollment Application Fee Amount for Calendar Year 2019
Notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announcing the application fee for providers that are initially enrolling in the Medicare or Medicaid programs, or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP); revalidating their Medicare, Medicaid, or CHIP enrollment; or adding a new Medicare practice location. The new fee is $586 and is required for applications submitted January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 19, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

FCC: Meeting of the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee
The Federal Communications Commission announces a public meeting of the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee on December 6-7, 2018. Agenda items include continued consideration of and voting on the Model Code for States, as well as a status report from the Disaster Response and Recovery Working Group. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 19, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

HHS: Activities Deemed Not To Be Research: Public Health Surveillance, 2018 Requirements
The Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, has released draft guidance for the 2018 Requirements for Activities Deemed Not to Be Research: Public Health Surveillance. The guidance will be made available on theOHRP website and comments are due by December 19, 2018. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 19, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

HRSA: Meeting of the Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality
The Health Resources and Services Administration's (HRSA) Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality (ACIM) will hold a public meeting on December 4-5, 2018. Agenda items include includes updates from HRSA, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, and the Healthy Start Program, and a briefing on infant mortality and health disparity data in the U.S., among other things. The final meeting agenda will be available on theACIM website. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 19, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

SAMHSA: Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has extended the comment period on minor changes planned for the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). The survey is used to used to determine the prevalence of the use of tobacco products, alcohol, illicit substances, and illicit use of prescription drugs by people 12 years and older in the United States. Comments are due by January 18, 2019. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 19, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

CMS: Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Continued Approval of the Community Health Accreditation Partner's Hospice Accreditation Program
Announcement from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services of the approval of the Community Health Accreditation Partner (CHAP) for continued recognition as a national accrediting organization for hospice that participate in the Medicare or Medicaid programs. The approval is effective from November 20, 2018 to November 20, 2024. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 16, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

HHS: Regulatory Agenda
Semiannual regulatory agenda from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) outlining the rulemaking activities HHS expects to undertake in the foreseeable future. Includes abstracts for prospective HHS rules that are expected to have major economic impacts on a substantial number of small entities. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 16, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

NTIA: Nevada Broadband Workshop
Announcement of a January 11, 2019 National Telecommunications and Information Administration(NTIA) BroadbandUSA Program Broadband Workshop to be held in Carson City, Nevada. The workshop will provide information on local broadband planning, funding, and engagement with service providers in an effort to facilitate broadband expansion and improve access to broadband services. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 16, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

IRS, HHS, EBSA: Moral Exemptions and Accommodations for Coverage of Certain Preventive Services Under the Affordable Care Act
Notice of final rule from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Employee Benefits Security Administration to finalize expanded exemptions to protect sincerely held moral beliefs for certain entities and individuals whose health plans are subject to a mandate of contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act. The rule will be effective on January 14, 2019. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 15, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

IRS, HHS, EBSA: Religious Exemptions and Accommodations for Coverage of Certain Preventive Services Under the Affordable Care Act
Notice of final rule from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Employee Benefits Security Administration to finalize expanded exemptions to protect religious beliefs for certain entities and individuals whose health plans are subject to a mandate of contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act. The rule will be effective on January 14, 2019. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 15, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

RBS: Notice of Solicitation of Applications for Inviting Applications for the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Programs for Fiscal Year 2019
Announcement from USDA's Rural Business-Cooperative Service inviting applications for loans and grants under the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) Programs for fiscal year 2019. Awards will be made based on the amount of funding available through the appropriations process. Projects should focus on achieving e-connectivity for rural communities, developing the rural economy, and supporting the rural workforce, among other things. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 15, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

RUS: Rural Broadband Access Loans and Loan Guarantees Program
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) will accept applications for fiscal year 2019 for the Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program through September 30, 2019. Loan amounts will range from $100,000 to $25 million, and will be made available for the construction, improvement, and acquisition of facilities and equipment to provide broadband services to eligible rural areas. Total funding available will be determined based on appropriations. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 15, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

CMS: Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is seeking comment on the Home Health National Provider Survey which is used to assess the impact of the use of Medicare quality reporting and incentive program measures. Comments are due by January 14, 2019. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 15, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

CMS: Medicare Program: End-Stage Renal Disease Prospective Payment System, Payment for Renal Dialysis Services Furnished to Individuals with Acute Kidney Injury, End-Stage Renal Disease Quality Incentive Program, Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program (CBP) and Fee Schedule Amounts, and Technical Amendments to Correct Existing Regulations Related to the CBP for Certain DMEPOS
Notice of final rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to update the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Prospective Payment System (PPS) for calendar year 2019. Also updates requirements for the ESRD Quality Incentive Program and makes technical amendments to correct existing regulations for the Competitive Bidding Program for certain Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies (DMEPOS), among other things. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 14, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

CMS: Medicaid Program: Medicaid and Children ’s Health Insurance Plan Managed Care
Notice of proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to streamline the Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) managed care regulatory framework in order to reduce regulatory burden and make the process more efficient and feasible for states to implement the program in a cost-effective manner. Comments on the proposed rule are due by January 14, 2019. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 14, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

HHS: Medicare Program; Administrative Law Judge Hearing Program for Medicare Claim and Entitlement Appeals; Quarterly Listing of Program Issuances - July Through September 2018
Quarterly notice from the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals (OMHA) listing the instructions finalized during the period of July to September 2018 related to procedures for carrying out adjudicative functions to resolve disagreements with Medicare claims. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 14, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

Census Bureau: Block Groups for the 2020 Census - Final Criteria
Notice from the U.S. Census Bureau announcing the final criteria for defining block groups for the 2020 Census Participant Statistical Areas Program (PSAP). The final criteria is applicable on December 13, 2018. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 13, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

Census Bureau: Census County Divisions (CCDs) and Equivalent Entities for the 2020 Census - Final Criteria
Notice from the U.S. Census Bureau announcing the final criteria for defining Census county divisions (CCDs) for the 2020 Census. CCDs are statistical geographic entities established by the Census Bureau in cooperation with state and local governments in 21 states where minor civil divisions (MCDs) either do not exist or have been unsatisfactory for reporting data, with the goal of establishing a set of subcounty unites that have stable boundaries and recognizable names. Designated governments will have an opportunity to review and suggest updates to the boundaries and attributes of CCDs in their geographic area under the ...
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 13, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news