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.

Bipartisan bill introduced to preserve rural health access

Today, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., and Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., co-chairs of the Congressional Rural Health Coalition, introduced H.R. 3859, the Rural Hospital and Provider Equity (R-HOPE) Act of 2012. This bipartisan bill would help rural communities across America protect and expand access to quality health care.“The quality of health care you receive should not depend on whether you’re from a big city or small town,” Thompson said. “Ensuring everyone has access to high...

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Talk of the town at Policy Institute

[caption id="attachment_1519" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Co-chair of the Senate Rural Health Caucus, Roberts' straight talk always educates and entertains."][/caption] As 450 of America’s most passionate advocates are fighting for rural health on Capitol Hill, we thought we’d take a moment to recap some of the memorable (and often unscripted) quotes from the National Rural Health Association’s 23rd annual Rural Health...

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Wakefield: Proud to partner with NRHA

Current and potential funding support caught the attention of the more than 450 National Rural Health Association members attending the Rural Health Policy Institute this week in D.C. Earlier today, Mary Wakefield, PhD, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) administrator and former National Rural Health Association member, outlined workforce, education, health information technology, telehealth and other HRSA projects and grant programs benefitting or with the potential to...

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Sebelius says there’s light at the end of the tunnel for rural Americans

[caption id="attachment_1506" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Sebelius addresses record NRHA Policy Institute crowd"][/caption] Geography shouldn’t be a determinant of health care quality, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said as she kicked off the National Rural Health Association’s Rural Health Policy Institute this morning. She told a record crowd of rural health professionals from all 50 states that there...

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White House outlines progress, plans

It’s been six months since the White House announced its new Rural Council. We know health care impacts everything from a community’s life expectancy to its economy, but we didn’t know how the new council planned to impact rural health across America. [caption id="attachment_1485" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="McKalip at the White House"][/caption] So the National Rural Health Association’s  Rural Roads magazine...

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MedPAC likely to establish principles, not recommendations for "Rural Report"

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission met on Thursday, January 12 and Friday, January 13 to discuss a number of payment questions and to review payment adequacy for rural health care providers.

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NRHA welcomes 2012 fellows

Jarod Giger is already making the news as one of the National Rural Health Association’s newest Rural Health Fellows. “Issues that individuals in rural states and communities have are very unique, and I oftentimes don’t think those voices are heard, so I hope to give a voice … to make sure those needs are being met,” says Giger, a University of South Dakota assistant professor of social work and one of 13 new fellows, who will first meet at NRHA's 23rd annul Rural Health Policy Institute...

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President Obama signs two-month extension into law

President Obama signed the two-month payroll tax/Medicare extension into law after the House of Representatives officially passed the Senate extension bill Friday. The measure, almost identical to a Senate-passed resolution, extends vital rural provisions for two months while congressional leaders work out a compromise for a year-long measure. The Senate and House conference committees are expected to begin their work on funding the full-year tax cut/Medicare extensions after the New Year...

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Republican Leaders Agree to Pass a Version of Senate Extender Legislation

Leadership aides inside the House of Representatives have told media outlets that the chamber will take up, and presumably pass, a version of the Senate payroll tax-Medicare extender legislation.  The measure, almost identical to a Senate passed resolution, will extend vital rural provisions for two months while congressional leaders work out a compromise for a year long measure.  The measure will be slightly modified from the Senate passed measure to allow implementation of the short term...

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House votes to disagree with Senate extender legislation

The House of Representatives voted to "disagree" with Senate passed legislation aimed at extending vital Medicare extenders, including many rural relevant provisions.  In a 229-193 vote, the House asked for an official conference to reconcile the differences between the Senate measure and a bill passed by the House that failed to include a number of rural provisions.  The House bill also included a number of offsets or "pay-fors" that would harm rural providers and facilities. The Senate...

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