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.

Skinny repeal fails Senate

The Health Care Freedom Act, also known as the “skinny repeal” bill that would have been a partial repeal of the Affordable Care Act failed in the Senate 49-51 early Friday morning. The bill would have removed the individual mandate, medical device tax and employee coverage requirement. NRHA urges the Senate to work together to fix rural health care. Any repeal and replace efforts must provide improved access to care in rural America and ensure vulnerable and underserved rural...

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Senate continues debate this morning

Both Republican and Democratic amendments failed as votes continued in the early evening on the Senate Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).   

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Update on Senate Health Care Reform Debate

The Senate held two votes today on the rural health care reform that failed.The first vote was on repealing significant portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The vote failed 45-55. In 2015, a similar bill to repeal parts of the ACA without replacement was passed by Congress but vetoed by President Obama.

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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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CMS Announces Series of Nationwide RAC 101 Calls

CMS will be conducting a series of Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) 101 calls for providers, according to this schedule: April 28, 2010 1:00pm - 2:30pm EST: Nationwide RAC 101 Call, 1-877-251-0301 May 4, 2010 1:00pm - 2:30pm EST: Nationwide RAC 101 Call for Home Health and Hospice, 1-877-251-0301 May 5, 2010 1:00pm - 2:30pm EST: Nationwide RAC 101 Call for DMEPOS, 1-877-251-0301 May 12, 2010 1:00pm - 2:30pm EST: Nationwide RAC 101 Call for Physicians, 1-877-251-0301

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Health Care Reform Update

The Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) does not appear to be moving forward. As of last night, four Republican senators - Mike Lee (Utah), Jerry Moran (Kansas), Rand Paul (Kentucky) and Susan Collins (Maine) - publicly stated they would oppose the revised version of the BCRA, leaving the bill short of the 50 votes required to proceed.

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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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New Senate Health Care Bill, Same Problems for Rural

The Senate released their revised version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA) today. While the National Rural Health Association is pleased the bill includes an additional $100 billion to help low-income Americans buy coverage and to combat the opioid epidemic, we are disappointed that the BCRA still falls woefully short in making health care affordable and accessible to rural Americans. The bill maintains some of the provisions that led to NRHA's...

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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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Senate delays health care vote; NRHA urges no vote on bill

The Senate has delayed a vote until after the July 4th recess on the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA), the Senate version of the health care reform bill passed by the House. The National Rural Health Association urges the Senate to vote no on the BCRA.

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