CHA News Article

National Advisory Committee Publishes Two New Policy Briefs on Rural Health

The National Advisory Committee on Rural Health & Human Services — a citizens’ panel of nationally-recognized rural health experts that provides semi-annual recommendations on rural issues to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services — has released two new policy briefs. The first brief, titled Understanding the Impact of Suicide in Rural America, recommends that the Secretary 1) require the department to conduct a national comprehensive evaluation that assesses existing state and tribal efforts to reduce rural suicide rates and that identifies successful evidence-based, rural-specific strategies that can be implemented within states and tribal communities; and 2) require the Agency for Health Research and Quality and the National Institutes of Mental Health to conduct research on the use of community health workers to determine if these efforts can reduce suicide risk and increase referrals for at-risk individuals. The second brief, Modernizing Rural Health Clinic Provisions, offers a number of recommendations to improve the statutory and regulatory foundation of rural health clinics, which has not been updated in 30 years and is not well aligned to meet today’s health care needs.