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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Threats to Rural Hospitals in Tax Reform Proposals

Tax-exempt financing is facing the most hostile challenge to its existence since the 1986 revisions to the Tax Code. Tax-exempt financing is being threatened in the House of Representatives tax reform bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Non-profit hospitals depend on tax exempt private-activity bonds (PABs) as a financing tool.

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President Trump Nominates Alex Azar for HHS Secretary

President Donald Trump has chosen Alex Azar to replace Eric Hargan as acting Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary

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Serving Those Who Served: Veterans Health in Rural America

This Veterans Day, we remember and honor those rural veterans who have served our nation. More than a quarter of the country's veterans live in rural communities and a disproportionate number of those serving in the military hail from rural communities.   

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House of Representatives Votes for CHAMPIONING HEALTHY KIDS Act, H.R. 3922

Today, the House of Representatives voted 242-174 to approve the CHAMPIONING HEALTHY KIDS Act, H.R. 3922.

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CMS Changes Requirements for Small Physicians

NRHA applauds the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recent efforts to help rural Americans, small practices, and underserved communities struggling to find care options.

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CMS Announces 340B Reimbursement Cuts with Rural Exemptions

NRHA is pleased that CMS recognizes the critical importance of the 340B drug program to rural Sole Communities Hospitals and has protected these rural hospitals from payment cuts implemented in the Outpatient Prospective Payment System final rule released yesterday.  The 340B Drug Discount Program is a life-line for so many rural hospitals who financially struggle, and has allowed rural facilities to maintain vital services such as cancer treatments and obstetrics care to rural patients...

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NRHA Participates in Regulatory Reform Listening Session with CMS Administrator Seema Verma

NRHA met with CMS Administrator Seema Verma and other stakeholders to discuss the important work of reducing regulatory reform.

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Medicare Extenders: One Month After Expiration

Several critically important rural Medicare “extenders” expired on October 1, 2017 without any Congressional intervention.  If Congress doesn’t act soon, rural health providers across the nation will be hit with hundreds of millions of dollars in reimbursement cuts.  If Congress allows this to continue, many rural facilities will close, exacerbating the current rural hospital closure crisis. (Already 80 rural hospitals have closed since 2010 and 673 rural hospitals...

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President Trump Declares National Emergency on Opioids

Yesterday, President Donald Trump declared a national state of emergency on the opioid epidemic. It is estimated that as many as 2.5 million people in the US are suffering from opioid addiction related to prescriptions, and an additional 467,000 are addicted to heroin. These numbers are especially intimidating given the unique challenges rural communities face. While all states have reported increases in opioid mortality and injury, the largest increases are reported in heavily rural states...

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