Rural Health

Rural Health

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Improving Health in Rural Communities: 2021 Year in Review

CMS released an updated report that highlights the activities and accomplishments that CMS has made in improving the health and wellbeing of individuals living and working in rural, frontier, and tribal communities in fiscal year 2021. This report emphasizes CMS’s commitment to working with rural communities to address barriers and build on existing advancements to achieve optimal outcomes for all rural Americans.

Improving Health in Rural Communities: FY 2021 Year in Review (PDF)

    Throughout the month of November, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health (CMS OMH) is recognizing National Rural Health Day, November 18, and highlighting the unique health needs of rural communities.

    Despite comprising the vast majority of the land area in the U.S., rural areas only contain about 19% of the U.S. population (or approximately 60 million people). People who live in America’s rural areas face unique barriers to health care – including longer travel distances to receive care, a shortage of health care providers, lack of broadband internet access, etc. These can contribute to worse health outcomes for this population. During November, we’re placing a spotlight on the work being done within CMS OMH and across all federal agencies to help address these disparities.

    The resources below can be shared to help improve the health of rural Americans:

    CMS is rethinking Rural Health. Our goal at CMS is to develop programs and policies that ensure rural Americans have access to high quality care, support rural providers and not disadvantage them, address the unique economics of providing health care in rural America, and reduce unnecessary burdens in a stretched system to advance our commitment to improving health outcomes for Americans living in rural areas. Rethinking Rural Health is a vital part of CMS's push to transform the health care delivery system to a model that delivers high quality, affordable, and accessible health care for every American.

    Doctor communicating with patient and a family member in an examination room

    This report describes rural-urban differences in health care experiences and clinical care received nationally in 2019. In addition to comparing the quality of care delivered to rural and urban Medicare beneficiaries overall, the report looks at how these differences vary by race and ethnicity.

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    Learn how CMS is applying 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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    Learn how CMS is working to improve access to care for rural populations through its Rural Health Council and other initiatives.

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    Find resources to help you improve health care access for rural populations.

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    Find data related to improving health care access, quality, and outcomes for rural populations.

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    Learn how CMS is working to improve access to care for rural populations through its Rural Health Council and other initiatives.

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    Sign up for opportunities and reach out to our CMS Rural Health Coordinators. To receive the latest news on rural health care policy and programs, sign up for the rural health listserv.

    Page Last Modified:
    12/01/2021 08:00 PM