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.

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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Trump Budget Decimates Rural Heath Safety Net

At a time when rural hospital closures are escalating, and one in three rural hospitals is at financial risk of closing, President Trump’s budget delivers a fatal blow to the rural health care safety net. Catastrophic cuts to the rural health safety net proposed in Trump's budget include:

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NRHA's Response to Omnibus Bill

The House Appropriations Committee released the fiscal year 2017 Omnibus Appropriations bill today. The legislation includes funding through September 30, 2017 - the end of the fiscal year - and prevents a government shutdown.

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NRHA Statement on White House Rural Task Force

The National Rural Health Association applauds President Donald Trump's Executive Order establishing a White House Rural Task Force. He will sign the order today.  "Since the day after the election, NRHA has strongly urged President Trump to make rural health care a priority in the Administration and to build upon the White House Rural Council established under President Obama," said Alan Morgan, NRHA CEO. "President Trump is taking the first important step in that...

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NRHA Applauds White House Rural Task Force

With decisive rural victories in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, rural America became a significant factor in the election of President Trump.  In a letter the day after the election, NRHA strongly urged the President-Elect to make rural health care a priority in his administration and to build upon the White House Rural Council established under President Obama.  Later today, in an executive order, President Trump will take the important first step in that direction...

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President Trump Signs Veterans’ Choice Program Extension

President Donald Trump signed legislation to extend the Veterans’ Choice Program, which was set to expire in August. This temporary extension will allow veterans to continue to access timely care in their own communities until the roughly $1 billion in remaining previously appropriated funding is expended.

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