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.

7 stats impacting the financial health of community hospitals

  • Author: McKesson

With Medicare reimbursement cuts and increasing health care costs, it’s no wonder rural hospitals are feeling the heat. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Medicare Part B fee cuts totaled $400 million in 2018. At the same time, avoidable misdiagnoses are costing hospitals $900 million per year. Add in inefficient workflows that increase labor costs and account for 25 percent of total spending and you’ve got a recipe for financial loss. The good news is your supply chain...

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CMS policy changes impact hospital outpatient services

CMS recently released its proposed rule for the 2020 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS). Among many changes, CMS proposed three key payment policy updates impacting hospital outpatient departments: lowering the supervision standard for hospital outpatient therapeutic services from direct supervision to general supervision; requiring prior authorizations for certain hospital outpatient department services; and reducing payments for clinic visits at off-campus...

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Highlighting the All of Us Research Program

‚ÄčLater this month, NRHA will be participating in the Adelante Promotores Conference in San Diego. This year, the theme—United for Healthy Communities—provides a platform for health advocates to grow their professional skills and reflect on our role in developing culturally competent, accessible care models that can help eliminate health disparities in the United States.

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9 Challenges in the Era of Interoperability

  • Author: MEDHOST

Mid-way through 2019, much of the healthcare marketplace is well into Promoting Interoperability (PI), which is the most recently proposed electronic health record (EHR) initiative from CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid).Today many hospital IT leaders and CIOs nationwide are persisting on a path toward interoperability with many of their peers, however, while some lead the way, many others lag far behind.

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Overcoming common rehabilitation management obstacles

Hospitals of all sizes and in all locations face challenges delivering therapy and rehabilitation services to patients in the recovery phase of their stay. Whether they have just undergone surgery or require rehabilitation after a stroke or automobile accident, patients need to receive high-quality care to have the best chance of a positive outcome.

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NRHA releases 2019 policy papers

The policy papers and statements adopted by NRHA’s Rural Health Congress are the background and support for NRHA's Legislative and Regulatory Agenda, which reflects the mission and values of NRHA by highlighting issues of importance to our membership. NRHA members and our Rural Health Fellows set the policies and positions that NRHA advocates for at a national level and all members of the association are encouraged to participate in the development of policy by...

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Capitol Hill Focuses on Expanding Broadband in Rural America

Washington, D.C.: Rural broadband is a hot topic on Capitol Hill this week. Both legislative bodies have seen proposals being floated to expand broadband focusing on rural America. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) put forth their own proposal, the Connected Care Pilot Program, which aims to appropriate $100M to support the infrastructure needed to use broadband for better health outcomes. The FCC’s program focuses on helping low-income and veterans access telehealth and other...

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JRH Impact Factor Increases by 42%

From 2017 to 2018, the impact factor for the National Rural Health Association’s Journal of Rural Health increased from 1.74 to 2.47, a 42 percent rise. The impact factor reflects the number of citations of articles published in a journal and is a key indicator of the publication’s reach, use, and reputation. The newly released impact factor reflects citations from 2018 of articles published in the journal in 2016 and 2017.

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NRHA Provides Comments on CMS Guidance for Hospital Co-location with Other Hospitals or Healthcare Facilities

Last month, CMS released their “Guidance for Hospital Co-location with Other Hospitals or Healthcare Facilities“. NRHA appreciates this draft guidance since it signals a positive step for co-location at non-CAH (Critical Access Hospital) rural hospitals. However, we have concerns about the continued delay of guidance for CAHs, especially due to the importance of visiting specialists. Rural communities with CAHs rely upon visiting specialists, and it is imperative that the guidance...

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Trump Administration Announces Five Pillar Approach to Make Health Care Costs More Transparent

Today, the Trump Administration announced an approach to make health care costs more transparent. “The President knows the best way to lower costs in health care is to put patients in control by increasing choice and competition,” Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar explained on a call promoting the new executive order. There are five main pillars to the executive order, and two of them are directly related to transparency of health care prices.

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