On May 8, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the agency’s first Rural Health Strategy intended to provide a proactive approach on healthcare issues to ensure that the nearly one in five individuals who live in rural America have access to high quality, affordable healthcare.
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
Although the strategy does not explicitly focus on preparedness and response, it does address cross-cutting issues such as rural public health and healthcare capacity, workforce, telemedicine, and partnerships.
For more information on the Rural Health Strategy, please visit: http://go.cms.gov/ruralhealth. There is also a fact sheet available at https://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Fact-sheets/2018-Fact-sheets-items/2018-05-08.html.