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.

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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NRHA Applauds Introduction of Conrad State 30 & Physician Access Act

The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) applauds Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) for the bipartisan introduction of the Conrad State 30 & Physician Access Act. This bill makes great strides in the recruitment of physicians to rural areas and the delivery of vital health care services in rural America.

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NRHA Applauds Introduction of Rural Hospital Access Act of 2017

The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) applauds Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Reps.Tom Reed (R-NY) and Peter Welch (D-VT) for introducing the Rural Hospital Access Act of 2017 (S. 872, H.R. 1955). This important bipartisan bill will improve access to care in rural areas by permanently addressing the Medicare Dependent Hospital and Low Volume Adjustment rural Medicare programs that expire October 1, 2017.

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House vote on AHCA expected soon; NRHA calls for Congress to vote NO on bill

This morning the U.S. House of Representatives’ decided to limit floor debate on the American Health Care Act (AHCA) to four hours and to restrict amendments from being offered on the floor. The vote will be called after the debate is finished, which is expected around 4 p.m.The House is well into the floor debate on the bill, but there is still time before the vote to call your members of Congress now and tell them to vote NO on the AHCA.

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