The California State Rural Health Association was founded in 1995 in Arcata, California.

Welcome from Ray Hino, New CSRHA President

Hello and Happy New Year from your Board of Directors for CSRHA in 2018.  I have been given the honor, privilege and great responsibility of serving as the new President for CSRHA in 2018.  It is important, to me, that we first begin the new year by thanking our outgoing President, Christine Martin and all of our outgoing Board members for their service to CSRHA during the past several years.  It is due to their commitment and leadership that we still have a California State Rural Health Association to represent the interests of our diversified membership.  So, on behalf of our entire 2018 Board, thank you to all that have preceded us. 

Now, on to 2018!  I am personally very excited about the opportunity that we have in front of us.  We have a mix of continuing Board members and new Board members that are all dedicated to building upon the legacy of CSRHA as the 1 organization in California that represents all of the varied constituency groups in rural health care, including but not limited to FQHCs, RHCs, Critical Access Hospitals, Home Health organizations, and more.  We have a great Board that is up to that challenge.  However, in order to best accomplish this work plan, we will need additional talented professionals who are committed to improving rural health care in our State, and who are willing to serve on the CSRHA Board.  So, if you have an interest in getting involved or know of someone who would be a great CSRHA Board member, please let one of us know.  We have great plans in 2018 to bring our collective voices together through meetings, social media and personal contact.   So please don’t be afraid to reach out and let us know how we can help you and how we are doing.  We will be successful when we are making a difference in the lives of Rural Californians.  Thank you too, for your loyalty and continued support of CSRHA.

Raymond T. Hino, MPA, FACHE
President
California State Rural Health Association

Medicare Advantage plans underpay rural providers

The Congressional Budget Office last month found that not only do Medicare Advantage plans generally pay 3 percent less than traditional Medicare, they often negotiate reimbursement rates even lower for rural hospitals. For some rural providers, low Medicare Advantage penetration isn't a huge problem. With so few plans in rural areas, insurers aren't likely to have to pay claims in high-cost rural areas, and hospitals there don't have to deal with the low reimbursements. NRHA member Darrold Bertsch, Sakakawea Medical Center CEO, says this is a good thing for him as well. His center—with 85 percent of inpatients on Medicare—has a hard enough time with the 2 percent cut imposed by the long-standing and here-to-stay Medicare sequester. - From NRHA Today, February 15, 2018.

 

A Tale of Two Valleys

The San Joaquin Valley Health Fund organized a rally on February 9, 2018 in Sacramento called "Equity on the Mall." 1,500 residents of San Joaquin Valley showed up.

Jose Gurrola, the mayor of Arvin, a small city southeast of Bakersfield, told the audience that the discrepancy between the region’s agricultural wealth and the poor health of its inhabitants has created “a tale of two Valleys.”

“Too often [those] who feed the world struggle to feed their own families,” he said.

“You can’t be a Golden State if you don’t operate by the Golden Rule … if there are disparities in different parts of the state,” Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs told the crowd at the rally. - From California Healthline, February 9, 2018, and from YouTube.