March for Rural Hospitals Action Kit
Protect rural hospitals, patients
Funding for rural hospitals is under attack by Congress and the Administration. Cuts to critical access hospitals are again proposed, and hundreds of millions of dollars to rural PPS hospitals will be lost if Congress does not act by Oct. 1. If these threats become a reality, rural hospital services will be forced to cut services, and rural hospital doors may close.
Two rural PPS hospital payments that will expire on Oct. 1 if Congress doesn't act are the Medicare-Dependent Hospital (MDH) Payment and the Low-Volume Hospital Adjustment.
MDHs are small rural facilities that serve a high percentage of Medicare patients. Expiration will mean more than 200 MDHs will lose millions of dollars, causing many facilities to reduce services, or worse, close doors, resulting in a devastating impact on rural patients across the nation. More than 600 rural hospitals receive the low-volume adjustment, meaning a loss for many hospitals of $1 million in Medicare reimbursement.
Protect your rural hospital. Keep rural hospitals doors open. Rural America is counting on you.
A study shows that these payment formulas do not, in fact, cost the Medicare program more. Furthermore, rural hospitals have better or equal quality metrics. For the full report, click here.
NRHA has developed these tools to help you fight for the rural health care delivery system.
→ Critical Access Hospitals
CAH fact sheet - find out why CAHs are important to your community and rural America
Issues facing Critical Access Hospitals in 2013
CAH talking points - use these talking points with members of Congress or Health LAs
→ Medicare Dependent Hospitals
MDH fact sheet - find out why MDHs are important to your community and rural America
Sample letter to Members of Congress - send a letter to your members of Congress
Study by North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center on the economic benefits of rural MDH facilities.
List of All Medicare Dependent Hospitals in the United States.
Map of all Medicare Dependent Hospitals State by State.
→ Low-Volume Hospital Adjustment Program
LVH fact sheet - find out why Low-Volume hospitals are important
Sample letter to Members of Congress - send a letter to your members of Congress about your Low-Volume Hospital.
→ Handouts from the March for Rural Hospitals
Virginia newspaper editorial highlights need to preserve rural hospital programs
The Roanoke Times Editorial Board published "A fair deal for rural hospitals" Tuesday, outlining the challenges many rural hospitals face in light of sequestration, DSH reductions and the pending expiration of Medicare Dependent Hospitals (MDH) and the Low Volume Hospital adjustment (LVH).
The newspaper calls funding cuts for older, sicker patients a "volatile combination, made more potent with the small pool of people reliant on these crucial providers, that makes for unpredictable financial challenges" and notes that "because rural hospitals are more dependent on Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, changes and uncertainties in those programs are buffeting these small medical facilities this year."
The editorial board also notes that Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) and a bipartisan group of lawmakers are working to preserve these important rural provisions that protect the rural health care safety net.
The National Rural Health Association urges all members of Congress to protect the rural health care safety net and to not allow these important rural provisions to expire October 1.