Rural Health Successes
In spite of all the obstacles that loom in our path, much progress has been made in the area of Rural Health over the past few years. The NRHA is made up of an active and committed constituency, dedicated to improving the "access, quality, and equity in rural health care" for rural Americans. As the nation's leader in Rural Health Issues, NRHA has had a hand in the following examples of our "Rural Successes".
The NRHA was instrumental in increasing funding for the National Health Service Corps, an agency that places health care workers in underserved areas in exchange for tuition assistance during training.
The NRHA also helped establish the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy to monitor and impact rural health issues nationally.
The NRHA has been recently successful in its efforts to introduce legislation to boost physician and hospital Medicare payments in rural America, and continues to actively urge Congress to provide equal Medicare payments for same services to rural providers and facilities.
The National Advisory Committee on Rural Health, formed largely through the efforts of the NRHA, serves an important purpose of keeping the Secretary of HHS updated on rural issues and policy recommendations.
Establishment of the annual Rural Health Policy Institute provides a forum for members to learn the policy process, the nuances of issues, and communicate their concerns as part of an organized effort. Attendence continues to grow and increasing numbers of members of Congress join us in an indication of NRHA's growing influence.
NRHA, together with the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH), was instrumental in the creation of the FLEX program in 1997.
NRHA, working with appropriations staff, secured a $4 million increase for State Offices of Rural Health, a $3.4 million increase in funding for rural health research, and $15 million for the Rural Hospital Improvement Program in 2001.
NRHA, working with the American Hospital Association (AHA) developed the new Rural Community Hospital Assistance Act Proposal in 2001.