June 2015




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Logo for the MN Rural Health Conference
June 29-30 in Duluth, MN

Registration is still open! Early bird discount ends Monday, June 8.

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Minnesota Rural Health Advisory Committee
Gov. Mark Dayton announced the following re-appointments to the Rural Health Advisory Committee: John Baerg – Butterfield (consumer member); Ellen de la Torre – North Mankato (consumer member), Margaret Kalina – Alexandria (nurse member); and Tom Vanderwal – Park Rapids (ambulance service representative). Visit the Rural Health Advisory Committee website for more information about this 15–member group that advises the commissioner and other state agencies on rural health issues.

Trends at Minnesota´s Community Hospitals
The Health Economics Program (HEP) of the Minnesota Department of Health recently released an issue brief, Trends at Minnesota's Community Hospitals in 2013 (PDF: 303KB/5 pages), with an analysis of financial, staffing and utilization trends for the state’s 133 community hospitals from 2010 to 2013.

Emerging Professions
For more information about emerging health professions in Minnesota, view the Office of Rural Health and Primary Care´s new Emerging Professions website.

Oral Health Data
The Minnesota Department of Health´s Oral Health topic on the MN Data Access Portal has been up and running with great success for three months with new data added regularly. The most recent data are Dental Workforce: Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas (Dental HPSAs), which are areas designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW) as having a shortage or inadequate distribution of dentists and/or places with higher dental needs.

Share of Female Dentists, by Age Group, 2013

Share of Female Dentists, by Age Group, 2013 At age 65 and older, the share of female dentists is 4%.
At age 55 to 64, the share of female dentists is 15%;
At age 45 to 54, the share of female dentists is 36%;
At age 35 to 44, the share of female dentists is 46%;
At age 34 and younger, the share of female dentists is 55%.

Source: Minnesota Board of Dentistry, December 2013. Figure 1–3 includes all dentists who have an active license and report practicing in Minnesota (“active practicing in state”) (N=3,013).

The profession of dentistry is quickly feminizing, both in the nation and in Minnesota. As recently as 15 years ago, just over 15 percent of U.S. dentists were women. Today, that share has nearly doubled. In Minnesota nearly one in three dentists is a woman.

Moreover, as shown in the chart, the feminization of the profession is accelerating. Young dentists entering the profession are more likely to be female than male; more than half of all Minnesota dentists ages 34 and younger are female; and, 46 percent of those between the ages of 35 and 44, are female.

What implications does this have for the profession as a whole? The quick answer is: it´s too soon to tell. Some anecdotal information from other counties suggests that female dentists may be less likely to own their own practices and obtain specialty certifications. But since female dentists are younger on average than their male counterparts, we don’t yet know how their career trajectories will evolve. It will be important to watch this younger cohort to see what new workforce patterns emerge over time.

For more information and analysis of this graph call Teri Fritsma at 651–201–4004.



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The Emerging Professions Integration Grant program fosters the integration of emerging professions into the workforce in roles that support the broad goals of the Minnesota Accountable Health Model. Applications are due Friday, June 12.


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Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation is inviting applications for the Oral Health Care Delivery Transformation Fund for the development and implementation of emerging and new oral health workforce strategies. The Foundation is interested in funding projects that expand the concept of the oral health care team to improve access to services, especially among populations experiencing health disparities in Minnesota. Inquiries are due by noon on Friday, June 19 via online submission.

The Practice Transformation Grant Program is accepting proposals. A copy of the complete Request for Proposal may be found on the Minnesota Accountable Health Model website. The goal of the Practice Transformation Grant Program is to support a range of providers and teams in primary care, behavioral health, and social services to allow team members to participate in transformation activities that advance the goals of patient centered, coordinated, and accountable care. Practice Transformation supports the broad goals of the Minnesota Accountable Health Model related to providing Minnesotans with better value in health care through integrated, accountable care using innovative care delivery models that are responsive to local health needs. Applications are due Friday, June 26 at 4:00 p.m. CDT.

In the May 22, 2015 Federal Register, the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announced the deadline for the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) program grant that can be used by rural providers for telemedicine. Electronic submissions are due Monday July 6.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) is accepting proposals for an additional round of qualified grantee(s) to provide health care services to Medical Assistance (MA) and MinnesotaCare enrollees under alternative payment arrangements through the Integrated Health Partnerships (IHP) demonstration. The Integrated Health Partnership demonstration is an opportunity for provider organizations to contract and collaborate with DHS to care for public health care program recipients under an accountable payment model. The Request for Proposals are due Monday, July 27.


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The Broadband Opportunity Council, established by the President in March 2015, issued a Notice and Request for Comments for all interested parties to share their perspectives and recommend actions the federal government can take to promote the deployment, adoption and competition for the use of broadband technology. Submission must be on or before 5 p.m. Eastern time on June 10.

PTSD: The Unrecognized Symptom will be presented by the Rural Palliative Care Networking Group Thursday, June 18, from 10 a.m. - 12 noon, in Chisago City, MN. This presentation will offer an overview of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and how this may affect the care of patients and veterans. The care and treatment options for those with PTSD will be discussed, especially those who are at the end of their lives. For more information contact Barb Olson at 952-853-8534.


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Healthland, a Minnesota–based provider of comprehensive healthcare information systems for rural and critical access hospitals, has acquired Rycan, a Minnesota–based leader in revenue cycle software, in order to offer hospitals of all sizes and skilled nursing facilities a full suite of revenue cycle management (RCM) software and service solutions.

The Minnesota Community Health Worker Alliance announced their SUCCESS WITH CHWs web–based microsites with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Aligning Forces for Quality Initiative and the St. Paul Foundation. These easy-to-use digests feature research, case studies, tools, webinars and short videos that acquaint providers with the role and value of community health workers. View both the Success with CHWs: Mental health services and the Success with CHWs: Asthma care for children microsites.

Rural Health Care, Inc. (RHCI) in Fort Pierre, SD received a 2015 Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) New Access Point (NAP) Award from the Health Resources and Services Administration. RHCI has been working to expand healthcare safety–net services into Worthington, MN—a region of the state that is known for health disparities, income disparities and transportation barriers due to rural roads and inclement winter weather. The region has also become home to a variety of immigrant and refugee populations, with Nobles County schools having the highest rural incidence in the state of Laotian, Karen and Spanish as the primary home language. RHCI’s service area will now include the Minnesota counties of Nobles, Murray, Jackson and Cottonwood as well as the Iowa counties of Dickinson and Osceola. In addition, RHCI expects to collaborate with Mankato’s Open Door Health Center, an existing FQHC serving the south central region of Minnesota.

Pipestone County Medical Center has been ranked one of the top 100 critical access hospitals (CAH) in the United States by iVantage Health Analytics.

The Minnesota Department of Health has designated Regina Hospital as an acute stroke ready hospital. Located in Hastings, Regina joins 77 Minnesota hospitals already "recognized for offering the gold standard in preparedness to stabilize stroke patients and administer life–saving medications."

CentraCare Health System, Long Prairie, MN and Mississippi Headwaters Area Dental Health Center in Bemidji have each been awarded a Rural Health Care Services Outreach grants from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP). These awards focus on a wide range of issues such as behavioral/mental health, oral health, diabetes, and telehealth. Watch this short 2015 Rural Health Services Outreach Grant Awards video that will provide a glimpse into the new 2015 grantee cohort.

The Northern Dental Access Clinic in Bemidji was recognized nationally by Mutual of America for its Collaborative Approach to Community Dental Care program. The clinic opened in 2009 and provides free transportation (to and from the clinic), insurance counseling, primary care referrals and mental health screenings. The program was named as one of just two Honorable Mention recipients in Mutual of America´s 2014 Community Partnership Award competition, which received more than 600 entries from organizations nationwide.


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Telemedicine reimbursement and licensure expands in state regulations (HealthLeaders Media).
Staffing an intensive care unit from miles away has advantages (Health News from NPR).
Rural hospitals weigh independence against need for computer help (Health News from NPR).

Health Reform
Interstate licensure agreement adds two more states (HealthLeaders Media).
Characteristics of rural Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) – A survey of Medicare ACOs with rural presence (RUPRI - Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis).
Designing and implementing the rural health system of the future (Rural Policy Research Institute).

Iron Range hospital finds new life with Essentia in charge (MPRNews).
As rural hospitals close and strokes increase, focus turns to ambulances (Healthcare Finance).
Rivals team up to improve bottom line (The Bismarck Tribune).
Hospitals provide a pulse in struggling rural towns (The New York Times).

Challenges in building a long-term care workforce (Center for Rural Policy and Development).

Rural implications of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (State Health Access Data Assistance Center).
Serving rural America's kids and families (White House Rural Council).
2015 rural relevance study: Vulnerability to value (iVantage Health Analytics and the National Rural Health Association).
Indiana community's HIV outbreak a warning to rural America (USA TODAY).

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The 11th Annual Minnesota e-Health Summit, Connecting Communities to Advance Population Health, will take place June 16-17 in St. Louis Park.

The 2015 Minnesota Rural Health Conference, Partnerships in Progress will be held June 29-30 in Duluth.

The National Rural Health Association´s 11th Rural Quality and Clinical Conference, will be held July 15-17 in Minneapolis.

Wellness in the Woods 3rd Annual Conference "Diversity in Wellness-Filling Up Your Recovery Toolbox" will be held September 12 in Little Falls.

The 14th Rural Health Clinic and Critical Access Hospital Conferences will be September 29 – October 2, in Kansas City, MO.

Minnesota's 2015 Community Health Conference: Everyone, Every Day, Everywhere! will be held October 7-9 in Brainerd.



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Minnesota Office of Rural Health and Primary Care
P. O. Box 64882
St. Paul, Minnesota 55164-0882
Phone 651-201-3838
Toll free in Minnesota 800-366-5424
Fax: 651-201-3830

Our mission
To promote access to quality health care for all Minnesotans. We work as partners with policymakers, providers, and rural and underserved urban communities to ensure a continuum of core health services throughout the state.