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President to Congress: Work Together to Repeal and Replace Affordable Care Act

President Donald Trump pledged to move forward on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in his first address to Congress.He called on Democrats and Republicans to work together “to repeal and replace Obamacare with reforms that expand choice, increase access, lower costs, and at the same time, provide better health care.”

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Senator Tester Introduces Restoring Rural Residencies Act

The National Rural Health Association applauds Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.) for introducing S. 455, the Restoring Rural Residencies Act. This important bill will fix an unintended consequence of the Affordable Care Act by defining Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) as “non-provider settings” solely for the purposes of Medicare reimbursements for graduate medical education. This will allow Medicare to reimburse residency programs for the time residents spend at CAHs. 

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NRHA applauds the withdrawal of 340B Mega Guidance

Last night the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) withdrew a pending regulations originally released in August of 2015 that included sweeping changes to the 340B drug program, known as the “Mega Guidance.” NRHA submitted comments to the proposed mega guidance in September of 2015 expressing multiple concerns with the guidance for rural providers and patients that rely on the 340B program.

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NRHA and 340B health need your help

NRHA and 340B health ask that you contact your lawmakers to protect rural hospital access to 340B in the event of an ACA repeal.Both Congressional leadership and President-elect Trump have expressed interest in repealing provisions of the Affordable Care Act. The ACA expanded 340B eligibility to rural hospitals—critical access hospitals, sole community hospitals and rural referral centers. This expansion has allowed many rural hospitals to better serve their communities at a time...

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The (Tom) Price of repeal and replace: Will it work in rural America?

Though the Republican establishment is still unsure about the road forward in a Trump Administration, two establishment Republicans are singing the praises of the cabinet pick of Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) for HHS Secretary. Senate Finance Chairman Orin Hatch and Senate HELP Chairman Lamar Alexander applauded President-elect Donald Trump's choice, saying Price will be crucial in their efforts to roll back the Affordable Care Act and reform Medicare and Medicaid and signaling that a Senate...

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The (Tom) Price of Repeal and Replace…Will it work in rural America?

Though the Republican establishment is still unsure about the road forward in a Trump Administration, two establishment Republicans are singing the praises of the cabinet pick of Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) for HHS Secretary.  Senate Finance Chairman Orin Hatch and Senate HELP Chairman Lamar Alexander applauded President-elect Donald Trump's decision, saying that he will be crucial in their efforts to roll back Obamacare and reform Medicare and Medicaid  - - and signaling that a Senate confirmation...

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Rural America speaks loudly

“Hillary lost rural America 3 to 1,” a Democrat inside the Clinton campaign told Politico.  “If she lost rural America 2 to 1, it would have broken differently.” Now, many in Washington D.C. are shocked, confused and second-guessing everything they believed about campaigns, donors, polling, pundits and all that went into the circus that was Election 2016. Even though President-Elect Donald Trump never issued any specific rural policy agenda, somehow he tapped into deep-rooted frustrations...

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MACRA and You

Providers in rural America need to be aware of the changes coming as a result of the Medicare Access and CHIP reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) regulation recently promulgated by CMS. MACRA attempts to realign physician payments under Medicare to from volume to value. MACRA offers providers that participate in Medicare Part B two options to demonstrate value: the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) or Advanced Alternative Payment Models (AAPMs). NRHA has extensively reviewed the...

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CMS released final regulation for provider quality payment programs

CMS today released the final rule today on the implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). CMS also released a Quality Payment Program website designed to help providers understand the regulation. MACRA attempts to realign physician payments under Medicare to from volume to value. MACRA offers providers that participate in Medicare Part B two options to demonstrate value:  the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) or Advanced Alternative Payment...

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Researchers develop risk assessment tool to predict rural hospital closures

“Predicting Financial Distress and Closure in Rural Hospitals,” a new article in the Journal of Rural Health by George M. Holmes, PhD, Brystana G. Kaufman and George H. Pink, PhD, looks at rural hospitals which have closed since 2010 at an increasing rate. The researchers from the North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center studied the financial performance of closed rural hospitals compared to those which remain open. The study uses a sequence of financial events...

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