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Due to COVID-19, CRH will continue working remotely through July 31.

Rural COVID-19 Update
May 14, 2020

The Center for Rural Health (CRH) has created this weekly e-newsletter as well as a COVID-19 webpage to keep people informed about what the CRH is doing to help during the pandemic.

News & Resources

Mitigating COVID-19's Rural Impact on Families At-Risk for Violence and Child Maltreatment and Neglect
An article in the Rural Monitor discusses COVID-19's impacts on rural families at-risk for violence and maltreatment. Experts describe ways they are adjusting to ensure all families have necessary resources, especially when social distancing.

Mental Health in a Pandemic: Q&A with Thomasine Heitkamp and Dennis Mohatt
The Rural Health Information Hub's most recent Rural Monitor article features an interview with the co-directors of the Mountain Plains Mental Health Technology Transfer Center, Thomasine Heitkamp and Dennis Mohatt. They discuss the coronavirus' effects on rural mental health.

Phone Only Telehealth Services for Medicare During COVID-19
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expanded Medicare coverage for audio-only phone services during the pandemic. Services include psychotherapy, behavioral health assessment and intervention services, and other behavioral health services. For more information, contact Laurel Stine, JD, at lstine@apa.org.

Coronavirus Waivers & Flexibilities
CMS has updated multiple fact sheets that summarize changes made through regulatory actions in response to COVID-19.

Hospital COVID-19 Funding Template
The National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) has released a tracking tool for use in identifying how much money each hospital is receiving from various COVID-19 relief allocations and awards. NASHP created this tool as a template to be used by states when conducting hospital surveys to identify the types and totals of support received. It can also serve as a template for hospitals' chief financial officers to track incoming federal and state funds.

Medicare Coverage and Payment of Virtual Services
CMS has updated a video that answers common questions about the expanded Medicare telehealth services benefit during COVID-19. New information includes how CMS adds services to the list of telehealth services, additional practitioners who can provide telehealth services, and the distant site services that Rural Health Clinics and Federally Qualified Health Centers can provide. In addition, the video includes information about audio-only telehealth services, telehealth services that hospitals, nursing homes, and home health agencies can provide, and how to correctly bill for telehealth services.

Events

May 19, 2020
Navigating COVID-19 Response and Recovery Funding
The Bipartisan Policy Center is hosting a webinar with its new disaster reform task force. The discussion will include ways for public officials to use COVID-19-related federal aid effectively.