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.

Senate to work on new health care repeal bill

The latest push to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is from Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham (SC) and Bill Cassidy (LA). The bill would end the current Medicaid expansion and ACA subsidies and instead utilize the money to provide block grants to the states. Additionally, the legislation changes Medicaid from an open ended entitlement to a per capita cap or block grants to the states.

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Rural quality takes a leap forward: NQF Rural Workgroup

NRHA is pleased that the National Quality Forum (NQF) announced the formation of a Measures Application Partnership (MAP) Rural Health Workgroup. This effort has long been a priority of NRHA and we support this important initiative to better measure the quality of care provided in rural communities. We encourage those interested and qualified to submit an Application for Workgroup membership by September 29, 2017. 

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NRHA applauds Senate Democrats for holding rural event

The U.S. Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee held a Rural Summit to discuss increasing access to health care and growing the economy in rural America.   “Losing a rural hospital is a disaster, not just in terms of emergency and trauma care, but keeping and attracting businesses to the area,” said Sen. Dick Durbin (IL), one of many Senators attending the summit.    Sen. Bob Casey (PA) said rural hospitals are the largest or second largest employer...

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Continuum of Care: Why rural health care may benefit the most from a new model

The evolution of how patients spend their final days of life has gone from quality care that enhances life to extending days without quality of life. The Care Continuum model focuses on quality of life by bridging medical advances with common medical sense. The Care Continuum is an answer to the over-use of medical technology, ensuring it is used only when appropriate, helping patients and their family members gain control over their medical journey.

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Senate HELP committee discusses stabilizing the individual markets in rural America

Today, the Senate HELP committee held the second in a series of four hearings on Stabilizing Premiums and helping individuals in the individual insurance market for 2018.

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Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee passes funding bill.

The Senate Labor-HHS appropriations subcommittee today held a hearing and passed a FY 2018 funding bill. The bill provides $164.1 billion, $3 billion above FY17 funding levels. While we do not have full details on the bill there are a number of positive indications for rural health care. The bill provides $160.6 million, a $4.5 million increase above FY2017, for rural health programs. Details are still forthcoming about the program specifics but NRHA is pleased the subcommittee recognizes...

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NRHA calls on members to protect 340B Program

On July 13, 2017, CMS released its Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM). NRHA is opposed to this change to the 340B Program as it will threaten the sustainability of the rural safety net.  

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Health Care Freedom Act fails in Senate

The Health Care Freedom Act failed 49-51 with Republican Senators John McCain, Lisa Murkowski, and Susan Collins voting no early this morning.   After the vote, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated that he may be willing to work across the aisle to fix portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

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Skinny repeal fails Senate

The Health Care Freedom Act, also known as the “skinny repeal” bill that would have been a partial repeal of the Affordable Care Act failed in the Senate 49-51 early Friday morning. The bill would have removed the individual mandate, medical device tax and employee coverage requirement. NRHA urges the Senate to work together to fix rural health care. Any repeal and replace efforts must provide improved access to care in rural America and ensure vulnerable and underserved rural...

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Senate continues debate this morning

Both Republican and Democratic amendments failed as votes continued in the early evening on the Senate Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).   

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