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.

New Legislation and Hearings for Week of May 2

Congress has returned from its two week recess and will be in session or in official constituent work periods from now until Memorial Day.  This week the House will be considering a number of changes and repeals  to the Affordable Care Act including de-funding state exchange subsidies and school based health clinics.  The House will also consider legislation that would add more explicit language outlawing federally funded abortions.  The Senate is not scheduled to hold any votes on health...

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HIT rural network grant opportunity

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CCNA Photo Contest: Nursing’s Impact on Health Care in Rural America

The Center to Champion Nursing in America (CCNA) is sponsoring a photo contest to highlight the amazing work that rural nurses are doing.  CCNA's goal is to contribute to a repository of images of nurses as they work to achieve the highest quality of health care for all AmericansOutstanding pictures will be featured at an AARP Solutions Forum co-hosted by NRHA, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and AARP on June 13, 2011.  Photos from the previous contest have been used in multiple...

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Congress Enters Spring Recess

The Senate and House of Representatives have entered a two week recess period.  No new legislation will be introduced during this time nor will hearings be held.  Both chambers will reconvene on May 2nd and work through the month of May.  The next recess will correlate with Memorial Day (May 30th).

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House Passes FY 2012 Budget Proposal

Today the House of Representatives passed H. Con. Res 34, the Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Resolution. This legislation seeks to balance the national budget by cutting government spending and reforming Medicare and Medicaid. The plan would cut an estimated $6.2 trillion over 10 years, and reduce cumulative deficits by $4.4 trillion...

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Final CR Closes Book on FY 2011

Yesterday, both the Senate and House of Representatives passed H.R. 1473, the full-year spending agreement for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2011. This bill, the result of a long series of negotiations between Speaker of the House John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Obama, ultimately averted a possible government shutdown. The full-term CR contains unprecedented non-defense discretionary cuts. It would reduce discretionary spending for the rest of the year by...

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General Supervision Fix

NRHA applauds Senator Moran (KS) for introducing S. 778, the Protecting Access to Rural Therapy Services Act and strongly supports its passage.  In 2010, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a final regulation for the Outpatient Prospective Payment System. In the regulation, CMS required that all hospitals provide “direct physician supervision” of certain outpatient therapeutic services in order to receive Medicare reimbursement.  The term “direct supervision” meant...

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Additional Legislation of Interest

HR 1044Medicare Access to Rural Anesthesiology Act of 2011Reps. Jenkins (KS-2), Akin (MO-2), Bucshon (IN-8), Cueller (TX-28), Heller (NV-2)Amends title XVIII (Medicare) of the Social Security Act to provide payment under Medicare part A on a reasonable cost basis for anesthesia services furnished by a physician who is an anesthesiologist in rural hospitals in the same manner as payment is made for anesthesia services furnished by a certified registered nurse anesthetists in such hospitals. Read more

Capitol Hill Hearing on ACA Implementation

On Friday, April 15 at 10 A.M. the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee of House Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing on the current status of implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services is scheduled to testify. The hearing will take place in the Rayburn House Office Building, room 2359. C-Span may make the hearing available online or you may review the transcript of...

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Capitol Hill Hearing Update

Friday 10 A.M. Subcommittee Hearing Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee (Chairman Rehberg, R-Mont.) of House Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing on the current status of implementation of the health care overhaul law. Witnesses: Kathleen Sebelius - Secretary of Health and Human Services

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