CMS Releases Rural Health Strategy

We are excited to have CMS announce the agency’s first Rural Health Strategy during our Annual Conference this week in New Orleans. We were joined by CMS Administrator Seema Verma at our Policy Institute in February, where she announced that we would soon see a rural health policy plan from the agency. CMS is the home of so many programs critical to rural health, and today’s announcement formalizes a new approach to creating policy that we hope will help ensure the healthy future of rural America. NRHA fully supports Administrator Verma’s efforts, as well as all the work of so many others at CMS, in creating this initiative. As we learn from individuals from CMS here at our Annual Conference, we are excited to hear even more about what is next.
We are optimistic that CMS efforts to ensure that the needs of rural Americans are met will create a regulatory policy environment that can support the needs of rural communities. As the hospital closure crisis escalates, as opioids tear through towns, as workforce shortages rise, and as resources grow scarce, we need this initiative more than ever. We hope that this rural prospective will provide us more opportunities to directly engage with the experts at CMS.

We greatly appreciate the work that Administrator Verma has done on the agency’s first Rural Health Strategy, and we look forward to meeting with those at CMS involved soon to discuss how we can best work together to support rural providers and beneficiaries.

You can view the Fact Sheet released by CMS here



Couldn't it all be

1 - Exempting all rural private practices with, say 6 providers or less from all MIPS / MACRA / PQRS / etc.... without this then resulting in any type of exclusions or penalties from insurers / CMS / "x"....,

2 - Paying a 10 - 15% reimbursement patient care premium (above the routine CMS reimbursement) to rural private practice physicians willing to live AND practice in rural America (towns less than / equal to ~ 15,000 persons) --- not a penalty like CMS has started doing for no EMR, etc..

3 - Not requiring EMR, "or else", - for rural private practices. ...AND, by make monies available for those rural private practices who care to try and establish EMR / and maintain it (IT needs, etc.).

4 - Passing legislation for meaningful TORT reform for rural private practices, in an attempt to encourage rural physicians and FP residencies to train to do more locally (better for patients) - GI endoscopies, OB, cesareans, venous ablations, Pain management injections, etc....

** Genuinely encouraging physicians to look to the rural communities for their private practices -- will be achieved by doing things which truly...directly...and simply make it possible for them to focus on patient care (not MIPS/ MACRA / EMR / CMS penalties / etc..), and to be able to afford to maintain a rural practice.

Rural medicine is a 24/7 practice which is presently undesired by most young physicians as it is just too hard to start it up a practice, very difficult to maintain (too many government / insurance-related hurdles put in the way), and is a real test of one's ability to persevere with all of the external forces seeking to control, restrict, direct, and manipulate one's practice.

I am very glad rural medicine is being reviewed and do appreciate the progress being made. I just hope it comes in time to save many of the current rural private practices form implosion.

  • 5/17/2018 1:31:04 PM

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