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Alexander-Murray ACA agreement still falls short for rural America.

The Affordable Care Act insurance markets are broken in rural America. Forty-one percent of rural marketplace enrollees have only a single option of insurer. Seventy percent of the counties where big insurers have pulled out of have been rural counties. This lack of competition in the marketplace means higher premiums. Rural residents average per month cost exceeds urban ($569.34 for small town rural vs. $415.85 for metropolitan). Despite these troubling numbers, the recent bipartisan....

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President Trump Signs Executive Order Changing ACA Market .

This morning, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to allow small businesses to purchase what are known as “association health plans.” These plans are a form of insurance in which similar small businesses can group together through an association to negotiate health benefits. Association plans are not required to cover some serious medical conditions, and are overall less regulated than more traditional insurance plans.  .

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Boom or Bust? Local nursing education in rural communities proving helpful in battling the nursing shortage.

Across the country, the supply of nurses in rural hospitals is getting dangerously thin. Many don’t have enough staff to run their hospital, and their patients have nowhere else to turn. But for one hospital in the mountains of rural Utah, the supply of nurses provided by Nightingale College’s distance education model is critical for weathering the storms of the highly-unstable oil-based economy.  .

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Eric Hargan Appointed Acting HHS Secretary.

President Donald Trump has chosen Eric Hargan to replace Don Wright as acting Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary. Hargan was confirmed as HHS Deputy Secretary by the Senate in a 57-38 vote last week. From 2003 to 2005, Hargan served as Deputy General Counsel of HHS under President George W. Bush, and he later served as President Bush’s Acting Deputy Secretary. He was a member of President Trump’s HHS Transition Team.  .

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CMMI Request for Information on New Payment Models.

NRHA has responded to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service’s (CMS) request for information on potential new payment models to be implemented at the CMS Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI).  NRHA has long advanced the need for rural-specific and rural relevant models.  Rural populations and their providers of care are faced with challenges that cannot be ignored and are uniquely well suited for demonstration projects through the CMMI.  .

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