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OFFICE OF RURAL HEALTH POLICY

Sec711[42 U.S.C. 912] (a) There shall be established in the Department of Health and Human Services (in this section referred to as the “Department”) an Office of Rural Health Policy (in this section referred to as the “Office”). The Office shall be headed by a Director, who shall advise the Secretary on the effects of current policies and proposed statutory, regulatory, administrative, and budgetary changes in the programs established under titles XVIII and XIX on the financial viability of small rural hospitals, the ability of rural areas (and rural hospitals in particular) to attract and retain physicians and other health professionals, and access to (and the quality of) health care in rural areas.

(b) In addition to advising the Secretary with respect to the matters specified in subsection (a), the Director, through the Office, shall—

(1) oversee compliance with the requirements of section 1102(b) of this Act and section 4403 of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987[20] (as such section pertains to rural health issues),

(2) establish and maintain a clearinghouse for collecting and disseminating information on—

(A) rural health care issues, including rural mental health, rural infant mortality prevention, and rural occupational safety and preventive health promotion,

(B) research findings relating to rural health care, and

(C) innovative approaches to the delivery of health care in rural area, including programs providing community-based mental health services, pre-natal and infant care services, and rural occupational safety and preventive health education and promotion,

(3) coordinate the activities within the Department that relate to rural health care,

(4) provide information to the Secretary and others in the Department with respect to the activities, of other Federal departments and agencies, that relate to rural health care, including activities relating to rural mental health, rural infant mortality, and rural occupational safety and preventive health promotion, and

(5) administer grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts to provide technical assistance and other activities as necessary to support activities related to improving health care in rural areas.


[20]  See Vol. II, P.L. 100-203, §4403.