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.

Rural Maternal Health Week

This week, NRHA dedicated its messaging to highlighting challenges and opportunities to improving maternal health in rural America. The NRHA social media platforms shared messages aimed at increasing awareness of the health disparities faced by rural moms throughout the week, and on Wednesday, NRHA leadership attended an event hosted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services titled, “A Conversation on Maternal Health Care in Rural Communities: Charting a Path to Improved Access,...

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NRHA Supports Changes to Improve Payments for Rural Hospitals

In April 2019, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma unveiled a proposal to increase Medicare’s reimbursements to hospitals in the bottom quartile of the wage index by decreasing payments to hospitals in the top quartile. This week, NRHA met with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and other key officials to discuss how to ensure this rule will impact rural Americans positively. NRHA strongly supports this change since it will decrease wage index...

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NRHA Supports Bipartisan Legislation to Eliminate Mileage Limitation for Critical Access Hospital Designation

NRHA strongly supports the bipartisan Rural Health Care Access Act introduced today by Rep. Mark Green of Tennessee’s 7th District and Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi’s 2nd District, which proposes removing the mileage limitation that restricts hospitals from receiving Critical Access Hospital (CAH) designation.

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Rural health care state of the union

  • Author: Medhost

NRHA’s Annual Rural Health Conference is back. Over a thousand rural health care leaders will convene May 7-10 in Atlanta to address some of the critical issues and emergencies facing rural hospitals, clinics, educators, and providers across the country. So what has changed since last year’s conference?

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House Appropriations Committee Releases FY2020 Labor-HHS Bill

The House Appropriations Committee released the text of its Labor and Health and Human Services (HHS) Appropriations bill last night. NRHA submitted testimony and requests to both the House and Senate Appropriators requesting robust support for rural health programs. While we understand the current federal budget situation, rural health discretionary spending is relatively small but is vitally important for maintaining access to care for individuals living in rural America. The rural healthy...

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Celebrate National Rural Health Day with NRHA

Rural communities are wonderful places to live and work, which is why nearly 62 million people – nearly one in five Americans – call rural home.  This Thursday, November 16th, we celebrate National Rural Health Day, a date set aside to honor the selfless, community-minded, ‘can do’ spirit that prevails in rural America. Across the US, several national organizations and local community groups will celebrate this special day in multiple ways.

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NRHA applauds Senate Democrats for holding rural event

The U.S. Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee held a Rural Summit to discuss increasing access to health care and growing the economy in rural America.   “Losing a rural hospital is a disaster, not just in terms of emergency and trauma care, but keeping and attracting businesses to the area,” said Sen. Dick Durbin (IL), one of many Senators attending the summit.    Sen. Bob Casey (PA) said rural hospitals are the largest or second largest employer...

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NRHA president testifies before Congress on rural health

The U.S. House Committee on Small Business’ Subcommittees on Agriculture, Energy, and Trade and Health and Technology held a joint hearing today on the importance of rural health and telehealth to help and support rural communities. NRHA President David Schmitz, MD, testified on how federal investments in rural health care help ensure that rural health care thrives leading to healthy communities and sustainable their communities

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Secretary Price seeks NRHA input

NRHA CEO Alan Morgan just spoke with Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price regarding proposed regulations just released by HHS for the Hospital Outpatient, Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment System. In this conversation, Secretary Price made a commitment to prioritize rural hospitals and health care.

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House Appropriators release draft Labor-HHS funding bill

The House Appropriations Committee released its draft Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) funding bill. The draft bill is funded at $156 billion, $5 billion below the Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17) enacted levels. The HHS portion of the bill is $77.6 billion, $542 million below FY17 enacted levels, but $14.5 billion above the President’s budget request. A summary of the bill is available here, and full bill text is available here.

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