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.

Sequestration: More Threats to Rural in Tax Reform

This afternoon, the House of Representatives voted to pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. At this time, the Senate is still debating and working on their own version of a tax reform package. It is likely that each chamber will pass different tax reform legislation and must go to conference to reconcile the two pieces. Unfortunately, right now, it looks like both bills will be bad for rural America.  

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NRHA announces 2018 Rural Health Fellows

The National Rural Health Association is pleased to announce the final selections for its 2018 Rural Health Fellows program. After the completion of a competitive review process, 17 fellows were selected to participate in this yearlong, intensive program aimed at developing leaders who can articulate a clear and compelling vision for rural America.

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Requests for Proportional Distribution of Opioid Funding

 While only 20 percent of Americans live in rural areas, a disproportionate number of rural communities are struggling with prescription opioids and heroin abuse. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rural Americans are more vulnerable to prescription painkiller abuse and overdoses, and the rate of opioid-related overdose deaths in nonmetro counties is 45 percent higher than in metro counties.  

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Celebrate National Rural Health Day with NRHA

Rural communities are wonderful places to live and work, which is why nearly 62 million people – nearly one in five Americans – call rural home.  This Thursday, November 16th, we celebrate National Rural Health Day, a date set aside to honor the selfless, community-minded, ‘can do’ spirit that prevails in rural America. Across the US, several national organizations and local community groups will celebrate this special day in multiple ways.

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Threats to Rural Hospitals in Tax Reform Proposals

Tax-exempt financing is facing the most hostile challenge to its existence since the 1986 revisions to the Tax Code. Tax-exempt financing is being threatened in the House of Representatives tax reform bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Non-profit hospitals depend on tax exempt private-activity bonds (PABs) as a financing tool.

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President Trump Nominates Alex Azar for HHS Secretary

President Donald Trump has chosen Alex Azar to replace Eric Hargan as acting Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary

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Serving Those Who Served: Veterans Health in Rural America

This Veterans Day, we remember and honor those rural veterans who have served our nation. More than a quarter of the country's veterans live in rural communities and a disproportionate number of those serving in the military hail from rural communities.   

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House of Representatives Votes for CHAMPIONING HEALTHY KIDS Act, H.R. 3922

Today, the House of Representatives voted 242-174 to approve the CHAMPIONING HEALTHY KIDS Act, H.R. 3922.

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CMS Changes Requirements for Small Physicians

NRHA applauds the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recent efforts to help rural Americans, small practices, and underserved communities struggling to find care options.

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CMS Announces 340B Reimbursement Cuts with Rural Exemptions

NRHA is pleased that CMS recognizes the critical importance of the 340B drug program to rural Sole Communities Hospitals and has protected these rural hospitals from payment cuts implemented in the Outpatient Prospective Payment System final rule released yesterday.  The 340B Drug Discount Program is a life-line for so many rural hospitals who financially struggle, and has allowed rural facilities to maintain vital services such as cancer treatments and obstetrics care to rural patients...

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