CMS announces Rural Health Strategy

For the first time ever, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has adopted an official Rural Health Strategy to provide a proactive approach to health care issues and to ensure individuals who live in rural America have access to high quality, affordable health care.

Through a series of listening sessions with stakeholders and consumers, CMS developed a strategy that is focused on five objectives:

  1. Apply a rural lens to CMS programs and policies.
  2. Improve access to care through provider engagement and support.
  3. Advance telehealth and telemedicine.
  4. Empower patients in rural communities to make decisions about their health care.
  5. Leverage partnerships to achieve the goals of the CMS Rural Health Strategy.

The Rural Health Strategy supports CMS’ overall effort to reduce provider burden and aligns with other CMS priorities. CMS will work to avoid unintended negative impacts of policies and will ensure the goals of the Rural Health Strategy are considered as new rules, regulations and programs are developed.

For more information and resources, visit CMS’ Rural Health webpage.