Rural Health Care Providers

News & Analysis as of

CMS’s Interim Final Rule to Permit “Stacking” of Reclassifications Puts Pressure on Urban Hospitals to Evaluate Advantages of...

Hospitals may seek redesignation to a neighboring core-based statistical area for wage index purposes under the rules that set forth the geographic reclassification process. See 42 C.F.R. § 412.230 et seq. Those rules...more

Also In The News - Health Headlines - August 2016 #2

GAO Alleges that Medicare Is Overpaying Hospitals For Uncompensated Care – A recent report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that Medicare’s uncompensated care payments to hospitals are not well aligned...more

Also In The News - Health Headlines - July 2016 #2

House Committee Approves Bill Providing Relief for Rural Hospitals – On July 7, 2016, the Ways and Means Committee for the House of Representatives voted unanimously to approve the Continuing Access to Hospitals Act, as...more

Committees Approve Rural Hospital Relief, ESRD Benefits, Medical Countermeasures Bills

On July 13, 2016, the Ways and Means Committee approved HR 5659, which would enable Medicare beneficiaries with end stage renal disease (ESRD) to enroll in Medicare Advantage plans. Earlier this month, the Committee approved...more

Health IT Bill Passes Congress, Opening Affordable Broadband Access to Rural Nursing Homes

In a late night voice vote on June 7, 2016, the Rural Health Care Connectivity Act finally passed the full Senate. Among other things, the new law promises to open up opportunities for both the long-term care industry in...more

California State Assembly Approves Bill on Rural Hospital Physician Employment

A bill that would permit rural hospitals to directly employ physicians has been approved by the California State Assembly. Assembly Bill 2024, authored by Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg), will be considered next by the Senate Health...more

Congress Considers Broader Hospital Site-Neutral Payment Exceptions and Other Payments Changes

In Depth - The House Ways and Means Committee next week is expected to consider and approve the Helping Hospitals Improve Patient Care Act of 2016, legislation that would create broader exceptions under much maligned...more

Senate Committee Seeks Information on Rural Health Care and E-Rate Consultant Fees

On May 10, Senators John Thune (R-S.D.) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation sent a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and USAC CEO Chris Henderson requesting...more

CMS Issues Rule to Implement LTCH PPS Wound Care Discharge Payment Policy, Geographic Reclassification Changes

CMS has published an interim final rule with comment period to implement a recent statutory provision addressing Medicare payments to certain rural long-term care hospitals (LTCHs) for severe wound care discharges. By way of...more

New Part B Drug Payment Model Proposed

On March 11, 2016, CMS proposed implementation of a new two-phase model for drugs reimbursed under Part B of the Medicare Program (“the Proposed Model”). Drugs reimbursed under Part B include drugs administered in hospital...more

GAO Recommends Additional Site-Neutral Medicare Payment Policies

On April 13, 2016, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released another report once again recommending that Congress equalize payment rates for Medicare services across practice settings (e.g., hospital outpatient...more

Health Alert (Australia) - April 11, 2016

In This Issue: - Judgments; Legislation; and Reports. - Excerpts from Judgments: South Australia 11 April 2016 - Inquest into the death of Roswitha Maria Osang Mrs Osang presented to the Tanunda...more

HRSA reveals new tool for rural GME

In the face of rural physician shortages, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) unveiled a new tool on April 11 to help assess whether a rural hospital is currently a teaching hospital. Knowing whether a...more

New Stark Law Exception Breathes Life into Primary Care, Especially in Underserved Areas

With the recent and significant shortages of primary care providers, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) recently created a rather important exception to the Stark Law as a means to expand access to primary...more

Georgia’s Rural Hospital Tax Credit Bill Passes, Awaits Governor’s Signature

On On March 24, 2016, the Georgia General Assembly passed S.B. 258, a bill aimed at throwing a lifeline to Georgia’s struggling rural hospitals through rural hospital tax credit provisions. ...more

Wage Index Reclassification Rule Struck Down by Second Circuit

On February 4, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit decided Lawrence + Memorial Hospital v. Burwell. The case addressed a regulation, issued by the Secretary of Health and Human Services...more

Georgia General Assembly Once Again Considered CON Repeal

A bill introduced last week in the Georgia General Assembly sought to eliminate the state’s Certificate of Need (“CON”) program, which has been in place since 1979. The CON program’s goals are: “(1) to measure and define...more

Second Circuit Invalidates CMS Regulation and Holds That Hospitals Designated as Rural May Apply for an Urban Wage Index While...

On February 4, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit struck down HHS regulations that prohibited hospitals from seeking classification as “urban” for purposes of their standardized amount and wage...more

CMS Updates Manual Provisions for Rural Health Clinics and Federally Qualified Health Centers

On December 31, 2015, CMS updated Chapter 9 of the Medicare Claims Processing Manual and Chapter 13 of the Medicare Benefit Policy Manual addressing payment and certification of Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) and Federally...more

Congress Clears CAH Direct Supervision Legislation

On December 8, 2015, the House of Representatives approved S. 1461, which would provide a one-year extension (through 2015) of the enforcement moratorium on supervision requirements for outpatient therapeutic services in...more

Health Care Group News: CMS Finalizes Two New Stark Exceptions and Provides Some Clarity to Others

On October 30, 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule, to be effective January 1, 2016, which added two new exceptions and made numerous clarifications to the Stark regulations....more

New Stark Law Exception Allows Hospitals, FQHCs and RHCs to Assist Physicians with Engaging Non-Physician Practitioners

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released a new exception to the Physician Self-Referral Law (the “Stark Law”) intended to expand access to primary care and mental health services (the “NPP...more

OIG Issues Advisory Opinion on Free Transportation

The Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) posted its most recent advisory opinion addressing a transportation program on October 21. This opinion analyzed a plan for a free van shuttle service provided by an integrated health...more

Orphan Drug Ruling Disrupts the 340B Program

On Wednesday, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued its highly anticipated opinion regarding the 340B orphan drug litigation. The Court ruled in favor of PhRMA, a trade association that...more

North Carolina Legislative Report

The General Assembly convened for the 2015 legislative session on January 14. Lawmakers returned to Raleigh on January 28 to begin the session in earnest. The MVA Public Affairs Legislative Report on North Carolina will be...more

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