CMS has released an-agency-wide Rural Health Strategy that seeks to “better serve individuals in rural areas and avoid unintended consequences of policy and program implementation.” The Strategy has five objectives:
- Apply a rural lens to CMS programs and policies (e.g., apply a new checklist to relevant policies, procedures, and initiatives that impact rural communities)
- Improve access to care through provider engagement and support (e.g., maximize scope of practice)
- Advance telehealth and telemedicine (e.g., address reimbursement, cross-state licensure issues, and administrative/financial burdens)
- Empower patients in rural communities to make decisions about their healthcare (e.g., support adoption of health information technology)
- Leverage partnerships to achieve the goals of the CMS Rural Health Strategy (e.g., work with state partners, federal agencies, and health plan representatives).