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 amended (H.R. 5613). The legislation seeks to delay through the end of 2016 Medicare’s direct physician supervision requirement for routine outpatient therapeutic services provided in critical access and small rural hospitals. Hospitals claim that implementation of the requirement would reduce margins at rural hospitals that already face financial difficulties and impact their ability to serve patients. H.R. 5613 is available here. S. 3129, companion legislation to H.R. 5613, is pending before the Senate Finance Committee and is available here. The American Hospital Association expressed its support for S. 3129 in a letter available here.