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.

MedPAC weighs in on Physician Supervision

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) released a report to the Congress on physician supervision requirements in critical access hospitals and small rural hospitals on Friday, December 1, 2017. This report was required under provisions of the 21st Century Cures Act. The analysis focuses on both the quality of care and economic impact of the moratorium.

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Senate Passes Tax Reform Legislation

In the early hours of the morning, the Senate passed their version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

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Another Rural Hospital Closure – And How We Can Prevent More

Lakeland Community Hospital in Haleyville, Alabama has announced that it will close its doors by the end of 2017. Lakeland Community Hospital is the only facility in Winston County, and its absence will result in job loss, reduced care options, and increased travel times for the county’s residents. Since 2010, eighty-three critical rural hospitals have closed and today, 674 additional facilities are vulnerable and could close. This represents more than one-third of rural hospitals in...

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House Ways and Means Committee Attacks Critical Access Hospitals

Yesterday, the urban-centric House Ways and Means Committee is advancing legislation that will result in the closure of even more rural hospitals, further decimating access to health care and further escalating economic decline in rural communities across the country.

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Sequestration: More Threats to Rural in Tax Reform

This afternoon, the House of Representatives voted to pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. At this time, the Senate is still debating and working on their own version of a tax reform package. It is likely that each chamber will pass different tax reform legislation and must go to conference to reconcile the two pieces. Unfortunately, right now, it looks like both bills will be bad for rural America.  

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NRHA announces 2018 Rural Health Fellows

The National Rural Health Association is pleased to announce the final selections for its 2018 Rural Health Fellows program. After the completion of a competitive review process, 17 fellows were selected to participate in this yearlong, intensive program aimed at developing leaders who can articulate a clear and compelling vision for rural America.

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Requests for Proportional Distribution of Opioid Funding

 While only 20 percent of Americans live in rural areas, a disproportionate number of rural communities are struggling with prescription opioids and heroin abuse. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rural Americans are more vulnerable to prescription painkiller abuse and overdoses, and the rate of opioid-related overdose deaths in nonmetro counties is 45 percent higher than in metro counties.  

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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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