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.

Capitol Hill Watch for Week of June 20

Both Houses of Congress remain in session this week.  The House of Representatives is scheduled to be in recess again starting June 27.  They will return on July 5.  The Senate will be in session until July 4 and then recess for the following week.  Congressional leaders usually return home during these periods. This provides ample opportunities for you to speak with them in their state and district offices or at town hall meetings.  Information about your individual Senators and...

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Deadline Approaches for 340B Program Conference

Only a month from now the 15th Annual Conference on Improving Access to Pharmaceutical Care and Ensuring Compliance with Federal and State Laws will take place.  The conference will run from July 11th-13th in Washington, DC. Similar to years past, a number of 340B experts from the Office of Pharmacy Affairs, SNHPA, Apexus/340B Prime Vendor Program and HRSA’s Pharmacy Services Support Center are scheduled to discuss the strength, evolution and challenges to the program. Many other political...

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Capitol Hill Watch for Week of June 13

Both Houses of Congress return to session this week following a one week recess for the House of Representatives.  The House will vote Monday on the first appropriations bill for FY 2012, the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012. Following the votes tonight, the House will begin consideration of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012.  NRHA policy relating to the "Farm...

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NRHA applauds creation of White House Rural Council, pleased rural health is priority

Today, the Obama Administration established the first White House Rural Council and named access to affordable health care among the council’s top priorities. NRHA is pleased the White House is focused on improving the lives of the 62 million Americans who call rural home. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will chair the new advisory team working toward bettering the economic outlook and quality of life for rural residents. The council will make recommendations for investment in rural...

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CMS to Delay Start of "Pioneer" ACO Demonstration

In response to concern about the plausibility of the current ACO structure, CMS has released two alternatives and one help session for those interested in pursuing the concept but were unhappy with the current structure.  The most "ground ready" program is the "Pioneer" model designed to provide higher incentives, and higher risks, to those whose systems are already integrated and can hit the ground running faster.  Many organizations, though, have indicated that they will not be ready to...

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NRHA Submits Comments to CMS on ACO Proposed Regulation

On Friday, the National Rural Health Association submitted its comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on the proposed final rule relating to "Accountable Care Organizations" and the Medicare Shared Savings Program.  Mandated by the Affordable Care Act, ACOs are intended to produce significant savings for the Medicare program.  An ACO is an integrated organization that endeavors to produce higher quality care through coordination and communication while reducing costs...

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Capitol Hill Watch for Week of June 6th

The House of Representatives is in a “constituent work week” this week.  Many members will be in their home districts and some will be holding town-hall meetings and other events to discuss the budget process and legislative action items.  This is a great opportunity to talk to your House member about the issues that are important to you.  Information about these events are generally posted beforehand on each member’s website.  For information about your individual House member, visit...

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Hospital Readmissions at 12%

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Associations File ACO Comments with CMS

As the deadline for filing comments on the CMS proposed rule on Accountable Care Organizations approaches, several organizations have filed comments expressing their concern with these regulations already.  Please click the links below to see them. American Hospital Association Comments American Medical Association Comments Cleveland Clinic Comments

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Associations File ACO Comments with CMS

As the deadline for filing comments on the CMS proposed rule on Accountable Care Organizations, several organizations have filed comments expressing their concern with these regulations already. American Hospital Association Comments American Medical Association Comments Cleveland Clinic Comments

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