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CMS released final regulation for provider quality payment programs

CMS today released the final rule today on the implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). CMS also released a Quality Payment Program website designed to help providers understand the regulation. MACRA attempts to realign physician payments under Medicare to from volume to value. MACRA offers providers that participate in Medicare Part B two options to demonstrate value:  the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) or Advanced Alternative Payment...

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Researchers develop risk assessment tool to predict rural hospital closures

“Predicting Financial Distress and Closure in Rural Hospitals,” a new article in the Journal of Rural Health by George M. Holmes, PhD, Brystana G. Kaufman and George H. Pink, PhD, looks at rural hospitals which have closed since 2010 at an increasing rate. The researchers from the North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center studied the financial performance of closed rural hospitals compared to those which remain open. The study uses a sequence of financial events...

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AAFP endorses H.R. 3225, the Save Rural Hospitals Act

The National Rural Health Association applauds the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), which represents 124,900 family physicians and medical students across the country, for supporting the Save Rural Hospitals Act. In a letter to the bill’s cosponsors, Reps. Sam Graves (R-MO) and Dave Loebsack (D-IA), AAFP acknowledges the unique challenges faced by rural hospitals and recognizes the payment inequities that rural hospitals operate under and believes that they should be...

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Bill doesn’t do enough to help rural hospitals

Sens. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D) recently introduced a bill that establishes a core set of health care quality measures for rural providers and provides grants for rural providers to participate in quality improvement and reporting programs. The National Rural Health Association is pleased with steps working toward including rural providers in Medicare and Medicaid quality measurement and improvement programs based on the recommendations of the National Quality Forum’s...

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Bill doesn’t do enough to help rural hospitals

Senate Rural Health Caucus Letter to BurwellLCLindsey CoreyReply all|Today 3:18 PMDiane Calmus;Alex Olson;Maggie Elehwany;Erin MahnAwesome, Diane.My edits and possible headlines are included below.Thanks,Lindsey From: Diane Calmus Sent: Friday, July 15, 2016 1:35 PMTo: Lindsey Corey <lcorey@nrharural.org>Cc: Alex Olson <aolson@nrharural.org>; Maggie Elehwany <MElehwany@nrharural.org>; Erin Mahn <EMahn@nrharural.org>Subject: Fw: Senate Rural Health Caucus Letter to...

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NRHA supports senators’ letter to HHS

The National Rural Health Association applauds the co-chairs of the bipartisan Senate Rural Health Caucus for their letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell urging the agency to work toward including rural providers in Medicare and Medicaid quality measurement and improvement programs based on the recommendations of the National Quality Forum’s Rural Health Committee of which NRHA is a member. The caucus co-chairs, Sens. John Barrasso (R-WY), Al Franken ...

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Support bill to protect rural hospitals

By Katherine Hall, NRHA intern A markup will be held July 7 to consider the Continuing Access to Hospitals Act (HR 5613) sponsored by rural champions Reps. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.) and Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa). This bill will provide relief to rural critical access hospitals by temporarily delaying the enforcement of the physician supervision requirement for outpatient therapy services through 2016. NRHA supports this bipartisan legislation. Seventy-five rural hospitals have closed...

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NRHA members, staff participate in Democratic Rural Summit

By Katherine Jane Hall, NRHA intern On June 29, National Rural Health Association members Tim Putnam and Nikki King spoke to the Democratic Steering Committee’s Rural Summit on the opioid crisis and other pressing concerns in rural health. NRHA staff and interns also attended the summit in D.C., which focused on improving the quality of life for rural Americans. During opening remarks, committee members were adamant about ensuring fellow legislators understand the epidemic of opioid...

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NRHA members attend Senate Democratic Steering Committee Rural Summit

The Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee will hold a Fostering the Next Generation of Rural America hearing Wednesday, June 29. The Committee facilitates an ongoing conversation between Senate Democrats and the public. NRHA members Tim Putnam, President and CEO, and Nikki King, Administrative Fellow at the Margaret Mary Health, Batesville, Indiana will be sharing their personal stories about the economic challenges and solutions for rural America’s health care system. NRHA...

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NRHA applauds Senate Appropriations Committee for rural funding

The National Rural Health Association applauds the Senate Appropriations Committee for recognizing the importance of a strong investment in rural health delivery for fiscal year 2017. NRHA thanks Chairman Cochran, Vice Chairwoman Mikulski, and the Committee members for the increase of funding for the Rural Outreach and Network Grants and Telehealth, both important programs for rural America. NRHA also applauds the Committee for the strong funding for the Rural Hospital Flexibility Grants...

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