COVID-19 Resources for Rural Healthcare Providers

 
General Resources

The National Organization for State Offices of Rural Health's (NOSORH) COVID-19 Resources page includes information on Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS); Coding, Billing, and Payment Guidance; 1135 Waivers; Telehealth; EMS & First Responders.

The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) has a COVID-19: Information and Resources for Community Health Centers page with materials on strengthening readiness efforts and community education. Topics include data and infographics, PPE and testing, finances, telehealth, and more.

The Rural COVID-19 Innovations page from the Rural Health Information Hub (RHI Hub) has a variety of COVID-19 best practices and lessons learned regarding COVID-19 vaccination, community response, healthcare provider support, and data sharing.

The Journal of Rural Health has compiled all of their publications pertaining to COVID-19 and Rural Health on this page. Article topics vary.

Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) has a collection of COVID-19 resources for the public health audience in a wide array of areas, including mental health, community mitigation, funding, telehealth, laws and policies, and more.

NOSORH has been hosting listening sessions to identify issues that State Offices of Rural Health have been hearing from constituents. The meeting notes, as well as resources ranging from telehealth utilization to grant management, can be found here.

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response page from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) contains general resources on vaccine support, supporting patients and healthcare workers, and operational guidance.

Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) held a held a webinar on Optimization Strategies for Healthcare Personal Protective Equipment.

Funding Sources and Policy Changes

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a document on CMS Flexibilities to Fight COVID-19, highlighting provisions that CMS has issued during the Public Health Emergency (PHE).

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness & Response recently renewed their Determination that a Public Health Emergency Exists. The state of public health emergency has been in effect since January 27th, 2020.

CMS has resources on policy changes specifically for Rural Health Centers, and for Federally Qualified Health Centers.

The Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP) has published a document (PDF) summarizing changes CMS has made to telehealth policies.

The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) has published a COVID-19 information page that has information on funding and rural-specific responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 Funding Sources Impacting Rural Providers from the National Rural Health Resource Center contains information on federal funding available to rural health care providers, funding purposes, eligibility, and reporting requirements.

The coronavirus page of the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) offers information about Health Center COVID-19 Vaccine Program, the COVID-19 Coverage Assistance Fund, and HRSA's RHC COVID-19 programs.

The National Association of Rural Health Clinics (NARHC) offers coronavirus resources on RHC funding opportunities, the Provider Relief Fund and other funding sources, the telehealth changes due to COVID-19, and the duration of the Public Health Emergency.

CMS published a COVID-19 FAQs on Medicare Fee-for-Service Billing document (PDF) that provides in-depth responses to any billing questions around different CMS waivers issued during the Public Health Emergency. They have also provided a document which outlines the flexibilities and billing best practices for RHCs and FQHCs (PDF).

Workforce and Staffing

Vanderbilt Medical Center, PLS Collaborative, and Michigan Medicine have partnered on a COVID Staffing Project, which has different tools and calculators for projecting workforce needs, deploying clinical teams, and calculating daily PPE use.

Health and Human Services (HHS) has a toolkit with Resources for Healthcare Decision-Makers Responding to COVID-19 Workforce Concerns.

Vaccines

The CDC's COVID-19 Vaccination page contains information on vaccine safety, provider resources, education for vaccination recipients, and other clinical resources.

The American Hospital Association (AHA) COVID-19 Vaccine Communications Resources page has a wealth of information on communicating with patients about the importance of COVID-19 vaccines.

The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) has compiled a library of COVID-19 Vaccine Resources for addressing vaccine hesitancy and creating social media content, as well as offering links to other data dashboards.

The CDC has published a document outlining twelve strategies for increasing vaccine uptake in rural communities.

Telehealth

The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) has published a COVID-19 Telehealth Frequently Asked Questions List that has information on policy changes and funding for telehealth.

The American Medical Association (AMA) has a Telehealth Implementation Playbook for use in guiding telehealth service provision.

Behavioral and Mental Health

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has a COVID-19 Resources page with guidance for behavioral health providers, information on currently available COVID-19 grants, and providing medication-assisted treatment to SUD patients.

Washington Listens is a free, anonymous service for anyone in the state. Washington Listens provides support to people who feel sad, anxious, or stressed due to the events of this year including COVID-19.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness has a collection of mental health-focused resources that cover warning signs and symptoms of mental illness, how to reach out for help, and finding treatment

COVID-19 Testing

The Washington Statewide Testing Strategy discusses the state's comprehensive strategy for testing residents, including goals, guiding principles, and DOH responsibilities in overseeing the Washington's COVID-19 testing efforts.

COVIDtests.gov is the official website for ordering free at-home COVID tests. Every home in the U.S. is eligible for 4 free at-home tests and orders usually ship within 7-12 days.

This fact sheet published by the Biden-Harris Administration on January 12th, 2022 has information on recent efforts taken by the White House in ensuring timely access to COVID-19 testing for K-12 students.

Resources from Other States

The Indiana State Department of Health issued a COVID-19 Guidance for Rural Hospitals (PDF) document outlining COVID-19 outbreak management recommendations .

The Rural Health COVID-19 Playbook (PDF) from the Colorado Hospital Association and the University of Colorado is an assessment tool that rural facilities can use to identify areas for improvement in their hospital operations