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December 2019 Newsletter

Dear Iowa Rural Health Clinics,

I hope you are enjoying this holiday season! Our 2020 membership drive is in full swing. If you have not already renewed your membership or have any questions, please let me know. The link to renew your membership can be found on the IARHC website at

Please see the rural health news updates and webinars below.

As always, I am available for technical assistance, suggestions and comments.
Happy holidays!

Emily Vogt
The IARHC board has decided to partner with the Iowa Primary Care Association to jointly host “The Iowa Community Health Conference” in 2020. This conference will take place instead of the IARHC Spring annual conference and will include a track of breakout sessions with a dedicated rural health focus, expanded networking, the opportunity to attend additional sessions on a wide array of healthcare topics, and the chance to connect with more exhibitors.
Policy, Payor and Medicare Managed Care Updates

FQHC/RHC Rate Floor Update
Below is the Informational Letter with your notice that the MEI for 2020 will be 1.9 and that notice of new rates was given to the MCOs on November 26th.  Please note these rates go into effect on January 1, however both MCOs have a period of time (between 45 and 90 days) to implement payment of the new rate after they receive notice from the state, so the rates may not be ready on January 1.

Articles and Updates

Iowa Immunizes
The Immunization Advocacy Partners, henceforth to be known as Iowa Immunizes, met on Monday, November 18. One member attended the Informed Choice Iowa “Empower to Action” conference, a gathering to promote and share views critical of vaccination, to gather information on that group’s strength and support in Iowa. The members took this, and upcoming lobby days in 2020 (January 28, February 18, March 18), as signs of a more concerted effort to challenge vaccinations and their use in Iowa. In response, Iowa Immunizes asked the present members to attend the IPHA Legislative Forum on December 5 and mention their organization’s support for vaccination. The IPHA shared a joint letter at the Forum to ask for new and renewed signatories. Finally, Iowa Immunizes tentatively planned to meet monthly once the legislative session begins. In the meantime, the group urged attendees to consider messaging and keep the group apprised of any developments or potential advocates for vaccination that would support the cause.

Urban-rural poverty gap widens
The poverty gap between urban and rural populations has widened since 2010, Successful Farming reported. The gap between metro areas and rural communities is now 3.5 percentage points, up from 3 percentage points, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported. Historically, the gap has been attributed to rural areas having an older, lower paid, and less educated rural population. A new USDA report says the gap between rural and urban areas widened, to 3.5 percentage points, during the economic recovery that began a decade ago. The annual "Rural America at a Glance" report said rural employment still hasn’t recovered fully from the last recession, but rapid growth in the cities has boosted employment in those areas.

The Search for Rural Health Solutions

Deputy HHS Secretary Eric Hargan spent a day at HRSA last month, joining in a multi-agency observance of National Rural Health Day. A product of rural southwestern Illinois, the Deputy Secretary's home county today has a population of some 6,000 residents.

Providing health care to the estimated 57 million people who live in rural America is a challenge central to the mission of the Department — and HRSA in particular, Deputy HHS Secretary Eric Hargan said at the agency's National Rural Health Day observance.

The fact that approximately one in every six Americans live or work in small towns and remote areas "imposes its own issues (and) dilemmas in how to provide that care in the best possible way," Hargan said. For that reason, transforming how people finance their health care and improving the value of the services they receive is at the core of the Administration's rural strategy, now underway.

Read more about efforts to improve health care for rural Americans.

Trainings and Webinars

Value Based Care in Rural Hospitals: Managing Time and Resources to Improve Quality of Patient Outcomes
Wednesday, Dec 18 | 2:00-3:00 pm CST | More Information
Value-based care is a shift in the health care environment that has the potential to benefit everyone in health care from patients and providers to payers and even suppliers. For starters, it can help lower costs, raise patient satisfaction, and make your health care organization more efficient. In this session, attendees will learn more about tools available to help bring their organization closer to the value-based care model, and why these tools should be used in rural hospitals.
Federal New Markets Tax Credit Subsidy
Thursday, Jan 9 2:00 - 3:00 pm CST | More Information
Health care and urgent care borrowers whose facilities, equipment and operations are located in economically distressed rural communities are excellent candidates for the federal new markets tax credit subsidy. This subsidy is in the form of either (a) a forgiven loan with approximate interest-only payments during the 7-year compliance period (which is forgiven at the end of such period), or (b) a loan with below-market interest-only payments during the 7-year period which matures up to 40 years (which can be well beyond any secured asset's useful life).
Learn the intent of the Program; why health care and urgent care borrowers are good candidates; the economic benefits; legal and underwriting requirements; whether the borrower qualifies for the forgiven loan or the non-forgiven loan; the steps to obtain such financing; how the financing technically works; and the unwind of the financing at the end of the 7-year compliance period.
Driving Financial Sustainability and Population Health in Rural Health
Tuesday, January 14, 2:00 – 3:00 PM | More Information
We are raising the standard of what it means to be rural health care organization by using analytics to drive financial stainability and population health in rural communities. This session will present a data-driven strategy that is proven effective in supporting rural health care organizations transform with health care’s modern and value-based initiatives. Because rural health care is resource limited, the level of success increasingly depends on the ability to streamline performance management. This presentation will focus on the strategies used to improve financial and clinical outcomes through analytics and a performance improvement methodology.

Mental Health First Aid
January 28-29, April 16-17, May 6, 2020 | Des Moines, IA | More Information
Copyright © 2019 Iowa Primary Care Association, All rights reserved.

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