HRSA announces proposed definition for rural health frontier areas   11/08/2012
The Health Resources and Services Administration is accepting comments through Jan. 4 on a proposed improved methodology for designating U.S. frontier areas for rural health programs and other purposes. "Demand has been growing for a statistically based, nationally consistent definition of 'frontier territory'; one that is adjustable within a reasonable range, and applicable in different research and policy contexts," the Federal Register notice states. Developed with the Department of Agriculture, the proposed voluntary methodology uses ''frontier'' to describe territory characterized by some combination of low population and high geographic remoteness. It would not apply to federal telehealth programs, which by law use a different definition of frontier area.
Report: Health care spending, price growth near record lows   11/08/2012
Health care prices grew 1.9% between September 2011 and September 2012, the lowest rate in more than 14 years, largely due to slower growth in hospital prices, according to the latest economic indicators from Altarum Institute's Center for Sustainable Health Spending. National health spending grew by 3.7% between September 2011 and September 2012, one percentage point less than gross domestic product and the fifth consecutive month below 4%. The health care sector added 31,000 jobs in October, including 6,200 hospital jobs, the center notes.
TN groups partner to prevent early elective deliveries   11/08/2012
The Tennessee Hospital Association is participating in a statewide effort to prevent elective deliveries before 39 weeks without a sound medical reason. The Healthy Tennessee Babies are Worth the Wait initiative will raise public awareness about the health benefits to mothers and babies of full-term delivery. It also will urge hospitals that provide labor and delivery services to adopt a firm policy prohibiting elective deliveries before 39 weeks without a clear medical risk to the mother or baby, said THA President Craig Becker. In addition to THA, partners in the initiative include the Tennessee Department of Health, March of Dimes, Tennessee Center for Patient Safety, and Tennessee Initiative for Perinatal Quality Care. Earlier this year, the AHA Board of Trustees adopted a formal position supporting policies to eliminate early-term, non-medically necessary deliveries.