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Rural Health Council


Rural Health Council

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About the Council

In 2016, CMS established the Rural Health Council to address three strategic aspects:

  • Improving access to care for Americans living in rural settings;
  • Supporting the unique economics of providing health care in rural America; and
  • Ensuring that the health care innovation agenda fits rural health care markets.

With support from the Rural Health Council, CMS has led efforts to engage stakeholders, particularly those serving rural areas, in all three focus areas. In October 2016, the Council hosted the first Rural Health Solutions Summit to encourage dialogue about how CMS policies and programs affect rural communities. CMS continues to engage stakeholders through its Rural Health Open Door Forums, which address issues affecting Rural Health Clinics, Critical Access Hospitals, and Federally Qualified Health Centers. CMS also has Rural Health Coordinators within each Regional Office who provide technical, policy, and operational assistance on rural health issues.


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Rural Health Strategy [PDF, 10MB]

The purpose of the CMS Rural Health Strategy is to inform CMS’ work, as it relates to rural health, and thereby help CMS achieve its vision for equitable rural health and health care. The strategy applies a rural lens to new and ongoing activities of the Agency and informs the pathway by which CMS can achieve its rural health vision through intra-agency collaboration, stakeholder engagement, and the elevation of programs and policies that will advance the state of rural health care in America. 

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Rural Health Strategy Resources

Use these helpful resources to promote this Strategy and learn more about how you can help CMS make health care in rural America accessible, affordable, and accountable:


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