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.

Congress Ends Government Shutdown

The government shutdown ended yesterday evening after Senate Democrats and Republicans reached a deal on a short term funding package. The House quickly passed the legislation and sent it to the President's desk for a signature. The government shutdown began at midnight on Friday after members of the Senate could not break the 60-vote threshold necessary to pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep the government open. 

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The Government Shuts Down Over Funding Bill

Last night at midnight, the United States Government shut down after the Senate failed to pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government through February 16. The House of Representatives had passed the CR in a party line vote the day before, sending the bill to the Senate, where Members were unable to cross the 60-vote threshold necessary to pass the legislation.  

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Bipartisan Policy Center Releases Rural Health Report With Concerning Headlines

This morning, the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) was joined by Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD) to announce the release of a report on rural health titled, “Reinventing Rural Health Care: A Case Study of Seven Upper Midwest States.” The BPC worked with the Center for Outcomes Research and Education (CORE) to study the cost of care, the availability of care, and innovative payments methods for rural Midwest communities. We appreciate the work that the...

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NRHA announces newly-elected volunteer leaders

Leadership for the National Rural Health Association is secure for 2018 and beyond, thanks to recent elections for Board of Trustees and Rural Health Congress positions. NRHA members chose David Pearson as president-elect. Pearson, who recently joined the American Hospital Association as a regional executive representing members in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas, will assume the duties of NRHA president in 2019.

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Tax Bill Goes to President’s Desk for Signature

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has passed both the House and Senate this afternoon and will now go to President Donald Trump’s desk for a final signature. The bill will likely be signed into law by the end of this week.  

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Rural Advocates Stand Up for CAHs in Letter to Ways and Means Committee

Representative Evan Jenkins (R-WV) and Representative Tom O'Halleran (D-AZ) wrote a bipartisan letter this morning to the Chair and Ranking Member of the Ways and Means Committee opposing using Critical Access Hospital (CAH) cuts as a pay-for in the Committee's Rural Medicare Extenders package.

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Serving Those Who Served: The Veterans Community Care and Access Act

This morning, we wrote a letter to Senator John McCain and Senator Jerry Moran to thank them both for introducing the Veterans Community Care and Access Act of 2017. This bill would create access to community health care for veterans who are currently unable to receive the health care services they need from a Veterans Affairs (VA) facility. This legislation offers veterans the opportunity to receive care in their community, rather than traveling miles and fighting through endless barriers to...

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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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