NRHA's Rural Health Voices blog offers informed commentary on the latest news in rural health care from NRHA staff and editorials from selected contributors.

How CMEs can qualify as MIPS improvement activities

Did you know that if you participate in CME activities, you could already be on your way to satisfying your Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) requirement? Because MIPS falls under the Quality Payment Program, CME can count towards your MIPS requirement if the activities are designed and executed in alignment with the QPP guidance. 91% of clinicians participated in MIPS in QPP’s first year. You could already be eligible to use CME to meet your MIPS requirements.

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NRHA Announces Partnership with United States Department of Agriculture

The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) today announced that it will partner with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to support capacity building for rural health facilities.  

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CMS Releases Final Site Neutral and 340B Rules

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has just finalized two rule proposals on site neutral payments and cuts to the 340B Program.   

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Why rural health care providers should invest in value-based solutions

Most of us would agree that controlling costs while providing high-quality, coordinated health care is a financial and moral imperative. This is especially true in rural markets, where household incomes are approximately four percent lower than urban areas and about 13.3 percent of families live below official poverty thresholds. But creating health solutions infrastructure to deliver value and provide an exceptional level of care comes at a cost, often requiring hard choices on where to...

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CMS Releases Proposal to Cut Medicare Part B Drug Costs

Late this week, CMS released a proposal to reduce the cost of Medicare Part B Drugs. What would its impact be for rural America?

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Breast Cancer in Rural America

According to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, breast cancer deaths have decreased by as much as 34% and continue to decline. Unfortunately, improvement has not occurred equally among all populations. Just as with so many other diseases, those with breast cancer in rural America are less likely to have the cancer diagnosed early and to receive the treatment necessary.

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Rural Hospital Closures Climb Rapidly

For a brief time, the number of rural hospital closures seemed to have stalled. Despite a rising number of hospitals operating at a loss, and regardless of Congressional inaction, rural hospitals were managing to hold on. Then the summer brought a rush of hospital closures, a landslide that’s continued into the fall.

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The Rural MOMS Act: Reducing Maternal Mortality and Increasing Care

Last week, Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) introduced S. 3568, the Rural Maternal and Obstetric Modernization of Services (MOMS) Act. This bill begins to address the needs of expecting mothers and babies in rural areas to ensure a healthy and vibrant future for rural families.  

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Assurance for Rural ACOs: NRHA Submits CMS Comments

This week, after many discussions with members participating in ACOs, NRHA submitted its comment letter to CMS, outlining our recommendations to improve the proposed rule to allow financially vulnerable rural providers an opportunity to participate in the program.

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Senate Votes on Final Passage of Opioid Package

The Senate passed the final version of a sweeping opioids package Wednesday afternoon in a 98-1 vote and will now send the legislation to the President's Desk for a final signature.

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