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COVID-19 – Navigating a Global Pandemic in Tennessee

Tennessee’s Department of Health’s mission is to protect, promote and improve the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee. This session will provide updates on Tennessee’s COVID response as well as other efforts to improve population health.

Learning Objectives
• Understand the most recent data on COVID spread and the success of various mitigation strategies, particularly in rural areas
• How to support public health efforts through consistent messaging and education
• Discover resources available to providers and public to improve health of Tennesseans


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Covid-19 update from the Tennessee Dept. of Health

The Rural Health Association of Tennessee is hosting a webinar with the Tennessee Department of Health to  provide an update on the Covid-19 pandemic on Sept. 23 from 11 a.m. until noon CDT.

Participants will hear from Dr. Mary-Margaret A. Fill and Jane Yackley, who both serve as epidemiologists with the Tennessee Department of health. Our discussion will aim to summarize recent data trends of Covid-19 transmission in Tennessee. We will also review prevention and mitigation measures for the spread of the virus, and we will discuss the implications of the Delta variant.

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Statement from Tennessee Department of Health Concerning Children's Vaccines

The Tennessee Department of Health assures families across Tennessee that information and access to vaccinations for children through state health departments continues and there has been no disruption to these services.

While misinformation has been circulated regarding the status of these resources, parents who need information regarding routine childhood immunizations can find resources here. Parents seeking the COVID-19 vaccine for children 12+ can find additional information here.

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Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy in Rural Communities (4-part Series)

RHA of TN hosted a 4 part series on addressing vaccine hesitancy in rural Tennessee. Visit our Rural Resource Center to view the recordings and access the resources that went with the webinar.

View Recordings

Click here to read presenter bios.

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How an $8.5 billion federal COVID-19 relief package could help rural hospitals in the South

The below article written by Maria Clark, published in the Tennessean March 24th discusses the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package executed on March 11th that includes $8.5 billion in funding set aside for rural health providers. 

The article quotes representatives from the National Rural Health Association and Rural Health Association of Tennessee. (Read article here)

Covid-19: CMS Increases Medicare Payment for Covid-19 Vaccine

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently increased the Medicare payment rate for COVID-19 Vaccine Administration. Effective March 15, 2021, CMS increased the average COVID-19 vaccine administration rate to $40 per vaccine dose.

More information about the CMS COVID-19 vaccine administration payment can be found at: https://www.cms.gov/medicare/covid-19/medicare-covid-19-vaccine-shot-payment.

Covid-19: TennCare Providers Reimbursements

TennCare’s Managed Care Contractors will be reimbursing TennCare providers for COVID-19 vaccine administration at the average CMS rate of $40 per vaccine dose.

TennCare also encourages all TennCare providers to visit the TN Department of Health’s website to learn more about how to become a COVID-19 vaccine provider at: https://www.tn.gov/health/cedep/ncov/covid-19-vaccine-information-for-healthcare-providers.html

CMS Increases Medicare Payment for Life-Saving COVID-19 Vaccine

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it is increasing the Medicare payment amount for administering the COVID-19 vaccine. This rate reflects new information about the costs involved in administering the COVID-19 vaccine for different types of providers and suppliers, and the additional resources necessary to ensure the vaccine is administered safely and appropriately. Effective March 15, 2021, the national average payment rate for physicians, hospitals, pharmacies and many other immunizers will be increased to $40 to administer each dose of any COVID-19 vaccine.  The updated payment rate for administration for each dose of any COVID-19 vaccine will be geographically adjusted and the exact rate will depend on the type of entity that furnishes the service.

The press release is attached and available here: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/biden-harris-administration-increases-medicare-payment-life-saving-covid-19-vaccine

COVID-19 relief package includes rural provisions

President Biden signed into law a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package. Thanks to the advocacy of NRHA, Rural Health Association of Tennessee, and its members, the package includes a number of provisions to protect and promote rural health.

Most notably, we have secured the infusion of $8.5 billion for rural providers, a key provision which NRHA worked closely with Senator Manchin's office on. The $8.5 billion for rural providers will be provided through a fund called the Health Care Heroes Sustainability Fund (HCHSF), which will be similar to the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) but specific to rural providers. After months of advocacy, NRHA and its members are proud to have secured this much-needed relief on behalf of rural providers. 

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2021 Federal Advocacy Agenda

February 9-11th, 2021 a delegation of 19 Rural Health Association of Tennessee Members and affiliates attended National Rural Health Association's Policy Institute. We welcome you to contact your federal legislators to share your experience and insight explaining the need to fund rural programs, providers, and facilities. See below for resources. If you would like to participate in upcoming state advocacy events, please email [email protected] 

National Rural Health Association 2021 Policy Document

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Interview: Rural Health Leadership Radio

Executive Director, Jacy Warrell, talks with Dr. Bill Auxier, host of Rural Health Leadership Radio. Subscribe to Rural Health Leadership Radio at https://rhlradio.com

Rural Tennessee starting to receive COVID-19 Vaccine

Interview with Executive Director, Jacy Warrell, 12/17/20

Interview: Nashville Public Television 11-22-20

COVID-19, Beyond Numbers | NPT Reports

Executive Director, Jacy Warrell, speaks with Nashville Public Television on COVID and rural health disparities.

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Workforce Development, Health Equity, and Rural Tennessee

Assistant Commissioner Kenyatta Lovett, PhD, Workforce Services, Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development

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Commissioner Piercey Talks COVID Testing and Vaccine

 

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Interview: Marketplace 11-13-20

In some isolated rural areas, COVID-19 is hitting hard

https://www.marketplace.org/2020/11/13/some-isolated-rural-areas-covid-19-is-hitting-hard/ 

Deputy Commissioner Smith talks COVID and Medicaid

Deputy Commissioner Yancey talks Mental Health, COVID, and Rural Tennessee

Lens on Security

Audience: schools, health care providers, hospitals, clinics, FQHCs

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COVID-19: Sharing Facts and Debunking Fiction

Tennessee Department of Health Epidemiologists will share COVID-19 Facts vs. Fiction.

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