Rural Health and Primary Care

Love Where You Live

What's New and Featured Resources


Certification Program for Primary Care and Dental Tax Credits

Applications for the Primary Care Access Tax Credit Certification Program (Tax Year 2020) are now available. Eligible candidates are encouraged to apply. Awards are made on a first come, first served basis to eligible candidates who submit complete applications with all necessary supporting documentation. Please follow the instructions carefully.

Please note that applications must be sent by mail and must be postmarked during the time-limited submission period of January 15, 2021 through February 18, 2021. Submissions with a postmark before January 15, 2021 or after February 18, 2021 will not be accepted. Please also note that this application is for new applicants only. Applications will be mailed to individuals seeking continued eligibility.


RHPCP Staffing Update

We are pleased to announce that Erica Dyer has joined the Rural Health and Primary Care Program. Erica started November 30th and comes to us from Maine General Medical Center. She has over 10 years of customer service experience and a solid understanding of the dynamics of a family medicine practice.

You may reach her by phone, 207-287-5524 or by email, erica.dyer@maine.gov

Thank you very much for your patience during this transition and for your help in welcoming Erica to the rural health team.


NRHD

You Can Still Commemorate National Rural Health Day

Although the day has come and gone, the spirit of National Rural Health Day stays with us all year long. There is still time read inspiring stories compiled by the National Association of State Office of Rural Health (NOSORH) in the 2020 Book of Community Stars. Be sure to check back often for more educational opportunities, links to funding opportunties and ways to connect with the rural health community.


NRHD

Start Planning Now for National Rural Health Day 2021

National Rural Health Day is set to occur next year on November 18, 2021. Start planning how you can commemorate the day now.

Please make every effort to share your activities and/or consider making your facility a supporter of National Rural Health Day by completing our online form


J-1 Waiver Program

Please be advised that Maine's J-1 Waiver spots are filled for 2020. The next application period will begin on October 1, 2021.

Thank you to all the providers for your interest in living and working in Maine! We hope that you will find your employment enjoyable and fulfilling and will stay much longer than your three year commitment.


Guide to the J-1 Waiver Process

Applications for J-1 Waivers will be accepted starting October 1, 2020. We hope that you find our new guide to the process helpful as you are preparing your applications.


OSHA Guidelines

OSHA has developed guidance to help prevent worker exposure to SARS-CoV-2.


DHHS

Now Available: Sentinel Events Newsletter

The latest newsletter prepared by the Sentinel Events Team of the Division of Licensing and Certification is available. Human factors in health care, risks in outpatient care, and Leapfrog ASC survey results are some of the topics covered.


warmline

FrontLine WarmLine

A joint effort of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Maine Department of Public Safety's Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Maine Association of Psychiatric Physicians, The Opportunity Alliance, Maine Psychological Association, and the Maine Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, the FrontLine Warmline serves health care professionals, such as physicians, nurses and counselors, as well as emergency medical services personnel, law enforcement, and others who are directly responding to the pandemic in Maine.

The FrontLine WarmLine is available to clinicians and first responders from 8 am to 8 pm, 7 days a week by calling (207) 221-8196 or 866-367-4440.


Federal Office

CMS Issues COVID-19 Guidance for RHCs and FQHCs

On April 17, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published guidance for Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) and Federally-Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). Congress and CMS made several changes to the RHC and FQHC requirements and payments. These changes include new payment for telehealth services, expansion of virtual communication services, and revision of the home health agency shortage requirement for visiting nursing services, among others. The National Association of Rural Health Clinics (NARHC) recently hosted a webinar sponsored by FORHP to explain updates to RHC stakeholders.

Other announcements from the Office of Rural Health Policy:Week of April 23, 2020 (PDF)


Public Health Emergency Preparedness would like to invite you to join Maine Responds and the Maine Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) today!

What does Maine Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) do? – Our volunteer programs reinforce our state’s public health infrastructure and support low-stress/no-fault exercise environments that test critical response capabilities. When MRC members are not responding to an emergency or disaster – the vast majority of the time – your focus will be on public health and emergency preparedness. The manner in which this work occurs varies by unit and is driven by each unit’s and each volunteer’s individual interests.


Strategies for Disseminating and Implementing COVID‐19 Public Health Prevention Practices in Rural Areas

A piece by Beth Prusaczyk, PhD from the Dept. of Medicine Division of General Medical Sciences, Washington School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO to assist community stakeholders and/or those working with community stakeholders.


Federal Office

Factsheet: Coping with Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks

This fact sheet from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) identifies the signs of stress and provides a set of practical tips and actions for relieving it during a crisis.

Other announcements from the Office of Rural Health Policy:Week of April 2, 2020 (PDF)


Recommended Resources and Helpful Links

Use the following resources to obtain information and monitor the COVID-19 efforts.


Federal Office

SAMHSA Resources

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides a list of help lines, websites, and virtual meeting options to support substance use treatment, as well as resources and information for mental health response to COVID-19. Be well and take care.

Other announcements from the Office of Rural Health Policy: Week of March 26, 2020 (PDF)


HRSA

COVID-19 Announcement for Current NHSC Participants

The NHSC has mechanisms in place to ensure that, in the event of an emergency or disaster, participants are able to remain in compliance with their service obligation. Participants whose circumstances change – for example, they are required to be away from their approved service site more than the allotted seven weeks per service year; they become unemployed as a direct result of the outbreak; or they are directed by their employer to provide care outside of the NHSC-approved site – should contact a program analyst immediately via the Customer Service Portal for assistance.


HRSA

COVID-19 Announcement for Nurse Corps Participants

The Nurse Corps has mechanisms in place to ensure that, in the event of an emergency or disaster, participants are able to remain in compliance with their service obligation. Participants whose circumstances change – for example, they are required to be away from their approved service site more than the allotted seven weeks per service year; they become unemployed as a direct result of the outbreak; or they are directed by their employer to provide care outside of a Nurse Corps-approved health care facility – should contact a program analyst immediately via the BHW Customer Service Portal for assistance.


HRSA

Attention Health Centers: Emergency Preparedness and Recovery Resources for Health Centers

Access information and resources compiled by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).


Share the Facts

Here are some COVID-19 posters and social media templates to use and/or share.


OSHA

Report: Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19

This report contains recommendations as well as descriptions of mandatory safety and health standards. The recommendations are advisory in nature, informational in content, and are intended to assist employers in providing a safe and healthful workplace.


HRSA

Applying for the National Health Service Corps Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Program or the Rural Community Loan Repayment Program? Get Your DATA 2000 Waiver

One of the tools to combat the opioid crisis is increasing the number of clinicians who are eligible to provide medication-assisted treatment (MAT) services. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides free MAT training and resources, via the Providers Clinical Support System (PCSS)1, for eligible clinicians. After completing MAT training, eligible clinicians can request DATA 2000 waivers to treat opioid dependency with approved buprenorphine products.

Applicants for the NHSC SUD Loan Repayment Program or the Rural Community Loan Repayment Program may receive priority if they have DATA 2000 waivers.


3rnet

Are you an employer in a rural area looking for a health care provider? Are you a health care professional looking for an opportunity in Maine?

3Rnetis a national network that matches health care professionals with employers in rural areas. Register today! It is a free resource for both health care professionals and health care facilities located in rural Maine.


Promoting access to quality health care for Mainers living in rural and underserved areas.

Our Priorities

  • Increase resources and reduce costs for health care statewide with a focus on rural areas;
  • Facilitate communication among stakeholders on rural health issues;
  • Increase access to primary, mental and dental health care services for underserved populations;
  • Reduce geographic, financial, transportation and other barriers that prevent access to health care services.

DHHS News