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CMS Announces First Rural Health Strategy

Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2018 8:09 PM

On Tuesday, May 8, 2018, CMS released the agency’s first Rural Health Strategy intended to provide a proactive approach on health care issues to ensure that the nearly one in five individuals who live in rural America have access to high quality, affordable health care. 

“For the first time, CMS is organizing and focusing our efforts to apply a rural lens to the vision and work of the agency,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “The Rural Health Strategy supports CMS’ goal of putting patients first. Through its implementation and our continued stakeholder engagement, this strategy will enhance the positive impacts CMS policies have on beneficiaries who live in rural areas.”

The agency-wide Rural Health Strategy, built on input from rural providers and beneficiaries, focuses on five objectives to achieve the agency’s vision for rural health:

  • Apply a rural lens to CMS programs and policies
  • Improve access to care through provider engagement and support
  • Advance telehealth and telemedicine
  • Empower patients in rural communities to make decisions about their healthcare
  • Leverage partnerships to achieve the goals of the CMS Rural Health Strategy

Approximately 60 million Americans live in rural areas, and people living in these regions suffer from disproportionately higher poverty rates, being underinsured or uninsured, have more chronic conditions, a shrinking health care workforce and lack of access to specialty care.

“This Administration clearly understands that one of the keys to ensuring that those who call rural America home are able to achieve their highest level of health is to advance policies and programs that address their unique healthcare needs,” said Administrator Verma.

Click here for the full press release.


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