Rural ResourcesRural providers worry about having the resources to be able to interface efficiently with legacy systems, being able to exchange data with other systems, being able to ensure data security and continuity of operations in the event of system outages, the list goes on and on.  CalHIPSO has compiled a list of resources to minimize these worries.

 

National Resources

  • ONC has launched the first in a series of web pages tailored to meet the health IT needs of Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) and small, rural hospitals. This effort is in support of our goal to see 1,000 CAHs and small, rural hospitals obtain Meaningful Use by the end of 2014. The pages are packed with resources, lessons from the field, health IT implementation support tools and more. You can also find Federal funding opportunities for health IT infrastructure (e.g., hardware, software, broadband). We encourage you to review and share the information among CAHs and rural hospitals in your communities. To access these web pages, visit: http://www.healthit.gov/ruralhealth
  • Rural Assistance Center A national technical assistance resource which is a rural health and human services “information portal.” 
  • The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act seeks to improve American health care delivery and patient care through an unprecedented investment in health information technology.
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services The official web site for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Programs.
  • US Department of Health and Human Services This DHHS rural site addresses HIT and rural resource links within the government including links to tool kits.
  • National Rural Health Resource Center  The National Rural Health Resource Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to sustaining and improving health care in rural communities.
  • Agency for Health Care Research and Quality This DHHS website focuses on Health Information Technology resources that address Best Practices for Transforming Quality, Safety and Efficiency.  It includes funded projects, grant resources, Health IT tools and resources.
  • Federal Communications Commission The FCC has initiated a pilot funding program to facilitate the creation of a nationwide broadband network dedicated to health care, connecting public and private non-profit health care providers in rural and urban locations.  This site guides you through these resources and the process of application.
  • Universal Service Administrative Company The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) is an independent, not-for-profit corporation created in 1997 to collect universal service contributions from telecommunications carriers and administer universal support mechanisms (programs) designed to help communities across the country secure access to affordable telecommunications services.  This site assists rural health care providers in understanding resources available to them.
  • United States Department of Agriculture + United States Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration   This website provides links into each of these US Department programs, the Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) and the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP).
  • United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development  Community Facilities Program provides loans and grants and loan guarantees for water and environmental projects, as well as community facilities projects. 
  • Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®) is an independent, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with the public mission of accelerating the adoption of robust, interoperable health information technology.  This site provides information on certification of EMR products and the certification process.
  • Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP) is a cooperative partnership between the public and private sectors. The Panel was formed for the purpose of harmonizing and integrating standards that will meet clinical and business needs for sharing information among organizations and systems.  This site provides review and definition of HIT standards.
  • National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC) represents the advanced telecommunications and information technology interests of 1,500 rural utilities and affiliates in 48 states.  This site provides a resource for rural communities to link to and understand telecommunication connectivity in their communities.  
  • National Rural Health Association (NRHA) is a national nonprofit membership organization. The association’s mission is to provide leadership on rural health issues. NRHA membership consists of a diverse collection of individuals and organizations, all of whom share the common bond of an interest in rural health.  This site will assist in understanding specific resources, technical assistance and advocacy in rural health care.
  • Medical Group Management and Medical Practice Executives Association MGMA-ACMPE is a membership association for professional administrators and leaders of medical group practices. The organization delivers networking, professional education and resources, and political advocacy for medical practice management. MGMA-ACMPE has resources for selecting, implementing and optimizing an electronic health record (EHR) in your medical practice or health system
  • Health Information and Management Services  HIMSS is a cause-based, not-for-profit organization exclusively focused on providing global leadership so that lives can be saved, outcomes of care improved, and costs reduced by transforming the delivery of healthcare through the appropriate use of information technology (IT) and management systems.  This sites assists in navigating risk assessment, audits, health information exchanges, and materials for small provider organizations.
  • American Health Information Management Association The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) is an association of health information management (HIM) professionals. AHIMA’s members are dedicated to the effective management of personal health information required to deliver quality healthcare to the public.
  • National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 association representing state chief information officers and information technology executives and managers from the states, territories, and the District of Columbia. Information regarding state policies  for use of technology and technology priorities are available.
  • Center for Health Information Technology at the American Family Practice Association mission is to promote and facilitate the adoption and optimal use of health information technology by AAFP members and other office-based clinicians, for the purposes of improving the quality and safety of medical care and increasing the efficiency of medical practice.  This website assists in resources and links to achieve successful adoption of EHRs.
  • National Governors Association Center for Best Practices states are connecting their growing health information exchange (HIE) capacity to existing health care initiatives and developing new organizational and governance structures to facilitate the coordination of complex planning and implementation activities across projects and agencies. There are three main governance models that states are using to develop the institutional structures, regulatory policies and incentives that will promote successful and sustainable electronic HIE.  This website describes various state initiatives.

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State Resources

  • California Health and Human Services Agency California eHealth Initiative  is a group of organizations committed to adopting health information technology (HIT) and electronic health in California. They work with California eHealth partners who have a mission related to ARRA/HITECH health information technology initiatives and/or stakeholder organizations.  This website assists providers, organizations, patients, health plans and vendors to link to information and resources for the state of California.
  • California Department of Public Health  is dedicated to optimizing the health and well-being of the people in California. This website provides information on California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Programs that are working to support the objectives and measures for meaningful use requirements.
  • California Rural Health Association (CSRHA) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots organization that works to improve the health of rural Californians and the quality and accessibility of the heath care they receive. CSRHA brings together health care providers, consumers, educators, researchers, public health and economic development agencies and others to work on a variety of issues related to preserving and enhancing the health of rural California.
  • California Medical Association CMA is a professional organization representing the physicians of the state of California. The California Medical Association provides physicians with the tools and information they need as they are considering whether or not to implement an electronic health record (EHR), and if so, how to get started
  • California Hospital Association  (CHA) collaborates with members to provide strong and effective representation and advocacy to advance the interests of California hospitals, patients and communities. CHA is a resource, working with members to achieve legislative, regulatory, and legal accomplishments at the state and federal level
  • California Telehealth Network (CTN) is a statewide broadband partnership for telehealth dedicated to healthcare.  CTN’s mission is to use broadband technology to improve access to the best quality health care in rural and medically underserved communities statewide.
  • California Health Information Association’s mission is to ensure the personal and professional growth of members and advance the health information management community through networking, education, shared knowledge, and advocacy.
  • California eHealth Cooperative‘s mission is to provide an open and inclusive approach for eHealth activities in California that will drive the development of secure access to clinically-relevant information at the point of care.

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FAQs

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Rural HIT Toolkits

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Planning and Workflow

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Publications

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Webinars

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Conferences and Videos

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Blogs, Podcasts, Discussion Groups, Chat Rooms, etc

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Financial Tools

  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services The official web site for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Programs.  The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs will provide incentive payments to eligible professionals, eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) as they adopt, implement, upgrade or demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology.
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services “An Introduction to the Medicare EHR Incentive Program for Eligible Professionals”.
  • California Department of Health and Human Services This website links to Medi-Cal EHR State Level Registry (SLR) for Provider Incentive Payments and their provider outreach page.

 FCC USAC, Rural Pilot Program

  • Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) is an independent, not-for-profit corporation created in 1997 to collect universal service contributions from telecommunications carriers and administer universal support mechanisms (programs) designed to help communities across the country secure access to affordable telecommunications services.  This site assists rural health care providers in understanding resources available to them.

Grants 

Capital loans

This website links to the USDA’s Community Programs that can make and guarantee loans to develop essential community facilities in rural areas and towns of up to 20,000 in population. Loans and guarantees are available to public entities such as municipalities, counties, and special-purpose districts, as well as to non-profit corporations and tribal governments.

Applicants must have the legal authority to borrow and repay loans, to pledge security for loans, and to construct, operate, and maintain the facilities.

This website links to the variety of USDA Rural Development business programs addressing credit needs in under-served rural areas, often in partnership with private sector lenders that include the following:

Loans

Business and Industry (B&I) Guaranteed Loans

Intermediary Relending Program (IRP)  Rural Economic Development Loan And Grant (REDLG)

Grants

Repowering Assistance Program (Section 9004)

Rural Business Enterprise Grant Program (RBEG)

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