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Help make 340B work for rural

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) recently released a proposed guidance about the 340B program, the long-anticipated so-called “mega guidance.” It’s comprehensive and discusses virtually all aspects of the 340B program. It includes restatements, clarifications, and proposed changes to current 340B policy. The “mega guidance” is only a proposal at this point, meaning HRSA is asking for your input about its enforcement policy. This is your opportunity to make your voice...

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CMS finalizes Meaningful Use stage 3 and flexibility for 2015

CMS released the Stage 3 Meaningful Use (MU) final rule and finalized a 90-day reporting period for 2015 while adding other flexibility on Tuesday. NRHA has continued to engage with CMS throughout the implementation of its MU stages, urging attention to rural-specific considerations. While we are pleased with the addition of flexibility for the 2015 reporting period, this should have been announced well in advance and should provide similar flexibilities moving forward into Stage 3...

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Help NRHA ensure rural is considered as CMS implements new Medicare programs

CMS recently released a request for information (RFI) regarding the implementation of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System, Promotion of Alternative Payment Models, and Incentive Payments for Participation in Eligible Alternative Payment Models. Essentially, CMS is working on implementing the last of the “doc fixes” that Congress passed in April to repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR). NRHA needs your help to make sure rural is considered and that the new replacement program works...

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White House names Rural IMPACT demonstration sites

The White House today announced the 10 sites participating in the Rural IMPACT demonstration, an initiative to help address rural child poverty. More than six million rural Americans live in poverty, including about 1.5 million children. The 10 rural and tribal communities participating in the demonstration are: Berea (KY), Partners for Education at Berea College (Serving Knox County, KY) Blanding (UT), The San Juan Foundation (Serving San Juan County, UT) Blytheville (AR...

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House Speaker John Boehner to resign

House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) announced today he will resign from Congress at the end of October. Rep. Boehner was elected to Congress in 1990. He has served as Speaker since the Republicans took control of the House of Representatives following the 2010 midterm elections.  Previously, he served as House Majority Leader.

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Short-term CR introduced in Senate

The Senate introduced a continuing resolution this afternoon that would keep the federal government running through Dec. 11. The bill continues spending at the Fiscal Year 2015 levels minus .21 percent, the necessary cut to stay below the sequester cap. The bill contains language defunding Planned Parenthood for one year and redirecting mandatory funds to community health centers. The Senate will vote on Thursday. According to reports, the Democrats are expected to filibuster and the...

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Save Rural Hospital Act needs your help: Urge your representative to sign on as a co-sponsor today

The National Rural Health Association encourages you, and all rural health leaders across the country, to contact their member of Congress and urge them to cosponsor HR 3225, the Save Rural Hospitals Act. Members of Congress are home in their districts for the next two weeks, so now is the time to reach out to them. HR 3225 will stop the flood of rural hospital closures by ending Medicare cuts to rural hospital and eliminating burdensome regulatory requirements. The bipartisan bill also...

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Today marks 50th Anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid

As today marks the 50th Anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson signing Medicare and Medicaid into law, the National Rural Health Association recognizes the importance Medicare has on access to care in rural America. Medicare serves a disproportionate number of rural Americans. Twenty-three percent of Medicare beneficiaries live in rural America, while only 20 percent of the population resides in rural America. Rural beneficiaries are more likely to be dually eligible for both Medicare...

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Today marks the 50th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid

As today marks the 50th Anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson signing Medicare and Medicaid into law, the National Rural Health Association recognizes the importance Medicare has on access to care in rural America. Medicare serves a disproportionate number of rural Americans. Twenty-three percent of Medicare beneficiaries live in rural America, while only 20 percent of the population resides in rural America. Rural beneficiaries are more likely to be dually eligible for both Medicare...

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NRHA president speaks to U.S. senators on 50th anniversary of Medicaid

Today, the National Rural Health Association’s 2015 president Jodi Schmidt addressed the U.S. Senate Democratic Steering Committee to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Medicaid program. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and several of her colleagues listened as top health care experts detailed the importance Medicaid has played in improving health outcomes. Poverty persists in rural America, and Medicaid continues to be crucially important for rural patients and rural providers. In...

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