Hyde-Smith seeks input from Mississippians as feds look to improve care in rural areas

Mississippi’s U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith is urging Mississippians to participate in a nationwide U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) initiative to find ways to improve health care in rural America.

The federal Rural Health Task Force, through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), has issued a request for information from the public on how to make rural health care more accessible, affordable, and sustainable.  HRSA set an 11:59 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019, deadline to receive comments.

“Health care in Mississippi has its challenges, including rural hospital closures.  I believe Mississippians can provide many good ideas and information on what is and what isn’t working in rural areas.  This material can help the Department of Health and Human Services begin to improve how its rules and regulations can support rural health care,” Hyde-Smith said.

“Too often, rules written in Washington do not fully take into account the needs of rural America.  I commend President Trump and Secretary Azar for soliciting this input and for making rural health a priority.  I urge Mississippians to participate in this process as a greater focus is placed on meeting the needs of rural residents,” she said

Background and instructions to submit material to the Rural Health Task Force is available here:  https://www.hrsa.gov/rural-health/rfi-rural-health-care-access

Information is sought from health care providers, researchers, community members, patients, consumers, families, caregivers, advocates, and other parties.

Hyde-Smith engaged HHS Secretary Alex Azar earlier this year on rural healthcare needs during a Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee hearing.  Hospital closures and telemedicine advances in Mississippi were among the issues discussed at that hearing.