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Rural Health: Laying the Foundation for Health Reform

Friday, October 30, 2009

Health care delivery poses unique challenges in rural communities. Provider shortages are particularly acute in rural America, where levels of educational achievement are generally lower and there are fewer opportunities to receive medical training. Unemployment and uninsurance rates are higher in rural areas than elsewhere. Join us for a discussion about how some aspects of pending reform proposals -- coverage expansions, subsidies, delivery system improvements and health information technology including telemedicine -- may have a substantial impact on rural health care.

What provisions in the various reform proposals affect rural health care? What particular challenges need to be overcome in order to improve care delivery in rural areas? What aspects of health reform will require special accommodation in rural areas? Are delivery systems in rural areas currently able to handle the influx of new patients coverage expansion would bring? How does HIT factor into rural reform?

To address these questions and more, the Alliance for Health Reform and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation cosponsored an October 30 briefing. Panelists included: Keith Mueller, director of the University of Nebraska’s Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis; Neal Neuberger, executive director of the HIMSS Foundation’s Institute for e-Health Policy; and Tom Irons, associate vice chancellor for regional health services at East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine. Ed Howard of the Alliance moderated. 


 Brian Quinn, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Moderator
 Ed Howard, Alliance for Health Reform, Moderator
 Keith Mueller, University of Nebraska's Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis, Speaker
 Neil Neuberger, HIMSS Foundation's Institute for e-Health Policy, Speaker
 Tom Irons, East Carolina University's Brody School of Medicine, Speaker
(Click on the camera icon to see a video of the speaker's presentation.)

Event Summary and/or Webcast and Podcast

Event Summary: Rural Health: Laying the Foundation for Health Reform (Adobe Acrobat PDF), 10/30/2009
Full Webcast/Podcast: Rural Health: Laying the Foundation for Health Reform

The full webcast and podcast for this briefing, as well as videos of individual speakers' presentations, are provided by Kaiser Family Foundation.

Speaker Presentations

Neil Neuberger Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF), 10/30/2009
Keith Mueller Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF), 10/30/2009
Tom Irons Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF), 10/30/2009

(If you want to download one or more slides from these presentations, contact us at info@allhealth or click here for instructions.)

Source Materials

Rural Provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Congressional Research Service, 2/23/2009
Finance Committee Approves Baucus' America's Healthy Future Act (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Finance Committee, 10/13/2009
The Rural Uninsured (Adobe Acrobat PDF), National Rural Health Association, 6/1/2009
Transforming Policy into Practice (Adobe Acrobat PDF), , 1/1/2009
Speaker Biographies (Adobe Acrobat PDF), , 10/30/2009
Agenda (Adobe Acrobat PDF), , 10/30/2009
Sourcelist (Adobe Acrobat PDF), , 10/30/2009
Assuring Health Coverage for Rural People Through Health Reform (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Rural Policy Research Institute and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 10/30/2009
Rural Health: Laying the Foundation for Health Reform (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Alliance for Health Reform, 10/30/2009

Offsite Materials (briefing documents saved on other websites)

Impact of the Recession on Rural America (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Rural Policy Research Institute, 6/1/2009
Critical Access Hospital: FAQ, Rural Assistance Center, 10/24/2008
Critical Access Hospitals Payment System (Adobe Acrobat PDF),MedPAC, 10/1/2009
Hard Times in the Heartland: Health Care in Rural America, , 10/1/2009
More Choices, Better Coverage: Health Insurance Reform and Rural America, , 10/27/2009
Accessibility a hitch in rural Colorado health reform, The Denver Post, 9/18/2009


Keith Mueller of the University of Nebraska discussed the impact of health reform on rural areas at the Oct. 30 briefing cosponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Dr. Tom Irons of East Carolina University's Brody School of Medicine describes how stakeholders in rural North Carolina work together to serve Medicaid patients and the uninsured. From the Oct. 30 briefing cosponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Neal Neuberger, executive director of the Institute for e-Health Policy, discusses the challenges of implementing health information technology in rural areas. From the Oct. 30 briefing cosponsored by The Commonwealth Fund.


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