HRSA announces proposed definition for rural health frontier areas

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The Health Resources and Services Administration is accepting comments through Jan. 4 on a proposed improved methodology for designating U.S. frontier areas for rural health programs and other purposes. "Demand has been growing for a statistically based, nationally consistent definition of 'frontier territory'; one that is adjustable within a reasonable range, and applicable in different research and policy contexts," the Federal Register notice states. Developed with the Department of Agriculture, the proposed voluntary methodology uses ''frontier'' to describe territory characterized by some combination of low population and high geographic remoteness. It would not apply to federal telehealth programs, which by law use a different definition of frontier area.

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