The latest perspective on health reform from Commissioner Sanne Magnan , M.D. is available, along with the monthly Health Reform Implementation Update. Stay informed on opportunities for input on the fast-moving implementation of health reform by subscribing online. The Minnesota Health Reform site describes the health reform package, including the Statewide Health Improvement Program, health care homes, payment reform, insurance coverage, workgroups and more.
The Health Care Homes proposed rule comment period ends August 6.
An interactive side-by-side comparison of major health care reform proposals is on the Kaiser Family Foundation site. It includes proposals that have been formally introduced as legislation as well as those that have been offered as principles or in White Paper form.
The new Health Workforce Data and Information Clearinghouse site is online. ORHPC, Health Education Industry Partnership, Minnesota Hospital Association and Rural Health Resource Center assembled the health career education, employment and financial resources; general demographics; and health care professional data.
ORHPC's Health Workforce Analysis Program released: Minnesota Physician Workforce Geography (PDF: 166KB/16pgs). To receive notification when Workforce publications are released, change your online profile.
Rural Health Clinic providers served by Riverbend General Billing Agreement (GBA) will transition to Cahaba GBA effective August 3. Contact ORHPC's Craig Baarson at email@example.com or (651) 201-3840 with questions.
In coordination with the Office of Higher Education, ORHPC will be administering a new one-time loan repayment program for large animal veterinarians who agree to practice in a designated rural underserved area and work full time in a practice that is 50 percent involved with the care of food animals. Program guidance and applications are expected to be available in the fall. For information, contact Amy Vallery at firstname.lastname@example.org or (651) 201-3870.
Openings are described below in OPPORTUNITIES for a rural general surgeon on the Statewide Trauma Advisory Council and for volunteer grant reviewers for ORHPC.
Veterans who applied for enrollment in the Veterans Administration (VA) health care system on or after January 1, 2009, and were denied enrollment are being reconsidered. The VA is contacting nearly half a million veterans with no service-connected disability and with incomes above a certain threshold who may now be eligible for medical care. Provider information on TriCare, a component of the Military Health System for members of the military, their dependents and retirees, is on the ORHPC Resources Web site.
Thank you to the Minnesota Critical Access Hospital administrators who completed an online survey on Meaningful Use for Medicare/Medicaid HIT incentive payments. Responses helped inform Minnesota’s comments to the HIT Policy Committee and were reflected in the initial recommendations, which included new 2011 benchmarks and a flexible implementation timeline. On July 16, 2009, the National Health Information Technology Policy Committee approved revised recommendations beginning in 2011, including:
In July, Judy Bergh, Flex program coordinator, traveled to Cuyuna Medical Center in Crosby and also visited with South Central Minnesota EMS Joint Powers Board in Mankato. In addition, Judy participated with New Ulm citizens in Heart of New Ulm. The Heart of New Ulm project is designed to reduce the number of heart attacks in the New Ulm area over the next 10 years by helping residents improve their health risks. The project involves community education, medical interventions and environmental changes.
The due date for State Loan Repayment Program applications is August 3.The program is for eligible licensed providers practicing at approved clinics in federally designated Health Professional Shortage Areas. Information, candidate applications and site applications are online or contact Deb Jahnke at email@example.com or (651) 201-3845.
Applications for the Indian Health Grant Program are due August 14. Eligible applicants establish, operate or subsidize health clinic facilities and services for American Indians who live off reservations. Nonprofit organizations, governmental and tribal entities are eligible to apply. The total available funding for the program is $174,000 per year. The two-year award cycle is January 1, 2010, to December 31, 2011. Completion of grant cycle awards will be contingent upon 2011 legislative decisions. Applications are online or contact Debra Jahnke at firstname.lastname@example.org or (651) 201- 3845.
Migrant Health Grant Program applications are due August 14. Cities, counties, groups of cities or counties, or nonprofit corporations are eligible to apply. The program funds establishing, operating or subsidizing clinic facilities and services, including mobile clinics, to supply migrant agricultural workers and their families with health services in areas of the state with significant numbers of migrant workers. First consideration for funding will be given to organizations that can provide services statewide. The total available funding for the program is $102,000 per year. The two-year award cycle is January 1, 2010, to December 31, 2011. Completion of grant cycle awards will be contingent upon 2011 legislative decisions. Applications are online or contact Debra Jahnke at email@example.com or (651) 201- 3845.
Applications are due August 14 for the Broadband USA Initiatives Program, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding.
The scope of the $85,000 one-year Rural Health Network Development Planning Grants has broadened to include general community health planning purposes. The change in the program recognizes that rural communities may need general planning money to identify issues and bring together key partners to develop plans to address those challenges. The applicant organization must be a rural, nonprofit or public entity that represents a consortium/network of three or more health related entities that need assistance to plan, organize and develop a health care network. Applications are due September 14. Contact Mary Collier, firstname.lastname@example.org to register for the August 18 technical assistance call.
Applications are due October 5 for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Employment and Training Administration grant for projects that provide training and placement service to help workers pursue health care careers.
Each year, Susan G. Komen for the Cure affiliate organizations raise money for grants to support breast cancer programs and services as well as community education and outreach on breast cancer detection. These grants support the Komen vision: a world without breast cancer. The 2009 Minnesota Rural Health Team Award winner Riverwood Healthcare Center worked with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Brainerd Lakes Affiliate to launch the successful Nurse Navigator Program for Breast Health.
GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION OF PSYCHIATRISTS, 2008
Minnesota has about 620 licensed psychiatrists. An estimated 93 percent practice in the state’s 23 metropolitan area counties. Seven percent practice in micropolitan area counties. Less than 1 percent have their principal practice site in one of the state’s 46 most rural counties. Minnesota’s population is 74.6 percent metropolitan, 12.8 percent micropolitan and 12.6 percent rural.*
Psychiatrists are physicians who have completed graduate medical education in a psychiatric specialty or subspecialty. Psychiatry is one of several professions providing mental health care; others include psychologists, advanced practice nurses and social workers.
Information on Minnesota’s health care workforce is collected through surveys professionals voluntarily complete when renewing their licenses. More information is on the Office of Rural Health and Primary Care workforce site or contact Jay Fonkert at email@example.com or (651) 201-3846.
* The federal government now classifies Blue Earth and Nicollet counties as metropolitan.top of page
Help needed with grant reviews. The Office of Rural Health and Primary Care is recruiting volunteers who have experience in health care and/or grant making to review grant proposals. This opportunity is an excellent way to learn more about how grant decisions are made. Contact Doug Benson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (651) 201-3842 or Cindy LaMere at email@example.com or (651) 201-3852.
The Minnesota Department of Health-Office of Minority and Multicultural Health is accepting applications for the position of director until August 10. Information is online.
The Alzheimer's Disease Working Group is looking for 17 members. The Medical Services Review Board is recruiting four members: one occupational therapist and an alternate; one hospital representative and an alternate. The Minnesota Resource Center Advisory Committee: Blind/Visually Impaired needs three parents whose children are identified as blind/visually impaired receiving services from Minnesota schools. The Trauma Advisory Council has a vacancy for one general surgeon whose practice includes trauma and who practices in a designated rural area. Complete information is in the July Open Appointments on the Secretary of State Web site.
Proposals are due September 11 for the joint Strong Foundations and Minnesota Fathers & Families Network Conference January 13-15 in Alexandria. The conference is designed for professionals in public health, health care, social work/mental health, child care, early childhood education, ECFE, ECSE, School Readiness, Early Head Start, child abuse prevention, home visiting, parenting education, family law, and child support, and those who work with refugee and immigrant communities, the field of fatherhood, and other helping professions.
Nominations are due October 1 for the 2009 Country Doctor of the Year award.
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Sanford Tracy Medical Center is featured in the June issue of the Great Lakes Regional Stroke Network Wave (PDF: 1MB/7pgs) for their Stop Stroke Initiative.
The following Community Health Centers in Minnesota received Recovery Act Funding: Cedar Riverside Peoples Center, Minneapolis; Cook Area Health Services, Inc.; Fremont Community Health Services, Inc., Minneapolis; Hennepin County Department of Primary Care, Minneapolis; Indian Health Board of Minneapolis; Lake Superior Community Health Center, Duluth; Migrant Health Services, Inc., Moorhead; Native American Community clinic, Minneapolis; Open Cities Health Center, St. Paul; Open Door Health Center, Mankato; Sawtooth Mountain Clinic, Inc., Grand Marais; Southside Community Health Services, Minneapolis; University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; West Side Community Health Center, Inc., St. Paul.
Follow the AARP® Blue Zones® Vitality Project events in Albert Lea, designed to improve health and life expectancy.
South Dakota-based Sanford Health and North Dakota-based MeritCare Health System announced plans to begin the process of creating one of the country's largest integrated health care systems. By signing a Letter of Intent, board trustees and leaders of Sanford and MeritCare have the opportunity to move forward, seeking input from physicians, employees and people in the communities served by the two organizations.
A year-long study at a Minneapolis nursing home showed that focused care by a team of University of Minnesota medical specialists cut the number of older short-term patients who were rehospitalized by 20 percent to a rate 33 percent below the national average.
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Ross Owen, M.P.A., and Mary Pohl, M.D., affiliated with the Minnesota Department of Human Services, provided advice and review to the report: Outcomes of Community Health Worker interventions (PDF: 5MB/611pgs).
UnitedHealth Group and Cisco are building the first national telehealth network, which will give patients access to physicians and specialists when in-person visits are not possible. The new "Connected Care" program combines audio and video technology and health resources to expand physicians' reach into rural, urban and other underserved areas.
The 2009 report from the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services (NACRHHS) is now online (PDF: 351/73pgs). It includes chapters on the rural implications of the medical home model, services for at-risk children in rural communities and workforce and community development. The NACRHHS is a 21-member appointed citizens' panel of rural health and human service experts that provides recommendations on rural issues to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Each year, the Committee issues a report focusing on three key rural topics. This year’s report included site visits to Minnesota and North Carolina.
Robert Bowman, M.D., supports efforts for primary care homes in this Daily Yonder article: "A Pittance Can Change Health Care."
President Obama's surgeon general nominee Dr. Regina Benjamin would bring experience as a primary care physician in rural and underserved area to the office.
About 45,000 office-based physicians, including nearly all physicians who practice at federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and half of office-based pediatricians, may be eligible for up to $63,750 over six years to improve and maintain their health information technology (HIT) systems because of their participation in Medicaid, according to a new report. Boosting Health Information Technology in Medicaid: The Potential Effect of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (PDF:163KB/14pgs) examines the Medicaid HIT adoption incentives in the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.
Proceedings from the 2008 Rural Long Term Care: Access and Options Workshop, Expanding Rural Elder Care Options: Models That Work is online (PDF: 1MB/36pgs).
The Rural Health Research & Policy Centers recommends:
The Ontario Telemedicine Network has served, since 2002, more than 1,000 patients who have experienced a stroke and have survived its debilitating effects through an emergency telemedicine application. Telestroke uses live, two-way television and digital image transfer to connect local stroke patients and their emergency physicians with neurologists at larger urban health care facilities to obtain urgent diagnosis and management advice.
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Nonprofits Assistance Fund is offering financial management workshops.
The Minnesota e-Health Initiative is holding HITECH update calls the third Thursday of every month at 4 p.m. Sign up to receive details about upcoming calls in weekly e-Health Update emails.
August 9 is the first meeting of the 2009-2010 Midwestern Legislative Conference Health and Human Services Committee. It will take place in Overland Park, Kansas.
The Midwest Rural Assembly is August 10-11 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
The Health Resources and Services Administration’s national meeting, The Healthcare Workforce Crisis: A Summit on the Future of Primary Care in Rural and Urban America, is August 10-12 in Washington, DC.
August 13 is the registration deadline for the National Association of Community Health Centers Developing Effective FQHC Programs and Applications in Chicago, Illinois August 20-22.
Riding the Wave of Health Care Reform: What are the implications for Minnesota's Safety Net is the theme of this year's Many Faces of Community Health Conference in St. Louis Park, October 22-23.
View online all previous issues of the Office of Rural Health and Primary Care publications.
Minnesota Office of Rural Health and Primary Care