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Tornadoes kill 5 and injure dozens in Iowa; coalition presses lawmakers to put climate bond on CA November ballot; More residential care coming for children with acute mental health needs; and ND again ranks high for workplace danger.

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The House GOP moves to strike mention of Trump's criminal trial from the record, and his former rival Nikki Haley endorses him. Meanwhile, Ohio Republicans reject a legislative fix to ensure Biden's name appears on the November ballot.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Rural Clinics Face Challenges Providing Primary Care Amid Pandemic

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Wednesday, July 1, 2020   

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Many rural health clinics primarily serving Medicaid recipients as well as the uninsured are navigating ways to help their patients manage chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure during the pandemic. One million Kentuckians see a health professional at more than ninety rural health clinics across the state.

David Bolt, chief executive of the Kentucky Primary Care Association, said rural clinics increasingly rely on telehealth phone and video appointments amid COVID-19, "and the concern there is that, in a lot of rural areas of the state, we still don't have appropriate connectivity in that last mile for people to take advantage of it."

Kentucky currently ranks 44th among states for broadband access, and statewide health organizations are calling for federal funding to expand reliable internet access in rural areas as part of continued coronavirus relief efforts.

With many patients continuing to avoid non-urgent care, clinic revenues are expected to decline as COVID-19 continues. But despite the challenging road ahead, Bolt said clinics are determined to continue providing primary care in communities hardest-hit by unemployment because of the pandemic.

"Some of these clinics have jumped in to continue to build primary-care operations in communities that have need," he said.

In April, Congress approved a $225 million grant program specifically aimed at helping federally certified rural health clinics cover coronavirus-related expenses, including testing.


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