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Federal Register Notices Relevant to Rural Health

Selected Federal Register notices of interest to the rural health community from the past 90 days.

FNS: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Requirements and Services for Able-Bodied Adults without Dependents; Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
Feb 22, 2018 - Notice of proposed rulemaking from the Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Agricultural that would limit the amount of time that able-bodied adults without dependents can receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to 3 months in a 36-month period, unless they are working or participating in a work program at least half-time, or participating in workfare. Also includes other exemptions to the time limit as well as options for States to request waivers of the time limit. Comments on the proposed rule are due on April 9, 2018.
Source: Federal Register
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ACL: Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Redesign of Existing Data Collection; National Longitudinal Survey of Older Americans Act Participants (NLSOAAP)
Feb 20, 2018 - The Administration for Community Living (ACL) is seeking comment by March 22, 2018 from Area Agencies on Aging and their clients on additional changes to a current information collection. In response to previous comments received, the Agency has responded with a new survey that addresses commenter concerns and is better designed to track grantee performance, provide national benchmarks, and inform program development over a long period of time.
Source: Federal Register
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CMS: Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Feb 20, 2018 - Notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services requesting public comment on two separate items: the evaluation of the Partnership for Patients (PfP) program, specifically the Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks (HIIN) initiative; and Hospice Conditions of Participation. Comments must be submitted by March 23, 2018.
Source: Federal Register
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FNS: Food Crediting in Child Nutrition Programs: Request for Information; Extension of Comment Period
Feb 20, 2018 - USDA Food and Nutrition Service has extended the public comment request, originally published on December 14, 2017, through April 23, 2018. Public comments on Child Nutrition Program crediting, the process by which food items are determined to contribute to Child Nutrition Program meal patterns, are encouraged, especially as they relate to benefits and negative impacts of changes to how food is credited.
Source: Federal Register
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IRS, HHS, EBSA : Short-Term, Limited-Duration Insurance; Proposed Rule
Feb 20, 2018 - Notice from the Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Employee Benefits Security Administration requesting comments on a proposed rule to amend the definition of short-term, limited-duration insurance to lengthen the maximum period from 3 to 12 months. Short-term limited-duration insurance is not required to comply with federal requirements for individual health insurance coverage. Comments on the proposed rule are due by April 23, 2018.
Source: Federal Register
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USDA: Agency Information Collection Activities: Revision and Extension of Approved Collection; Comment Request; Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery
Feb 20, 2018 - Notice from the Department of Agriculture (USDA) requesting qualitative feedback from public stakeholders, including individuals, businesses, and state, local, or tribal government, to help improve service delivery and alert the Department of areas where communication, training, and changes in operations might be needed. Comments are due by March 22, 2018.
Source: Federal Register
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AHRQ: Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request
Feb 16, 2018 - The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is seeking comments through March 8, 2018, regarding quality improvement initiatives that may help AHRQ improve clinical practice, improve patient safety or reduce harm, address healthcare disparities, improve prevention practices, and/or collaborate with community groups to improve healthcare. AHRQ is also seeking comments on ways to tailor and improve the use of AHRQ quality improvement measures. Specifically, AHRQ is requesting comments from hospitals and other healthcare organizations, clinicians, quality improvement experts, researchers, quality measure developers, and the public. Includes a series of questions to help guide responses.
Source: Federal Register
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HRSA: Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Public Comment Request; Information Collection Request Title: Health Professions Student Loan (HPSL) Program and Nursing Student Loan (NSL) Program Administrative Requirements (Regulations and Policy). OMB No. 0915-0047-Revision
Feb 14, 2018 - Notice from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announcing their intent to continue collecting information as part of the Health Professions Student Loan (HPSL) and Nursing Student Loan (NSL) Programs, which provide long-term, low-interest loans to students pursuing eligible degrees. Information will be collected through the Deferment Form (HRSA Form 519) and Annual Operating Report (HRSA Form 501), and is used to determine borrowers' deferment status and monitor program operations and financial activities. Comments regarding the need and use of the information collecting activities must be submitted no later than March 16, 2018.
Source: Federal Register
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IHS: Request for Public Comment: 30 Day Notice for Extension of the Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Program (LRP)
Feb 14, 2018 - Notice from the Indian Health Service (IHS) requesting OMB approval to continue collecting information as part of the IHS Loan Repayment Program (LRP) application process. Collected information is used to determine applicants' eligibility for the IHS LRP, which repays all or part of eligible health professionals education-related debt in exchange for an initial two-year service commitment to practice full-time at an eligible IHS facility. To ensure consideration, comments regarding the proposed information collection extension should be submitted by March 16, 2018.
Source: Federal Register
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HRSA: Low Income Levels Used for Various Health Professions and Nursing Programs Authorized in Titles III, VII, and VIII of the Public Health Service Act
Feb 12, 2018 - Notice from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) updating income levels used to identify a low-income family for the purpose of determining eligibility for programs that provide health professions and nursing training to individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. Low-income levels are adjusted annually based on HHS’s poverty guidelines.
Source: Federal Register
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HHS: Meetings Announcement for the Physician-Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee Required by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA)
Feb 5, 2018 - Notice from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announcing the 2018 meetings of the Physician-Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee (PTAC). All meetings are open to the public, will include voting and deliberations on proposals for physician-focused payment models, and will be held in the Great Hall of the Hubert H. Humphrey Building in Washington, D.C.
Source: Federal Register
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SAMHSA: Notice of Meeting
Feb 5, 2018 - Notice from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announcing a combined meeting of the four National Advisory Councils and the two Advisory Committees. The meeting will include remarks from the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, updates from center and office directors, a presentation on the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee's (ISMICC) report to Congress, a presentation on SAMHSA's role in recent behavioral health responses to disasters, and a council discussion. Scheduled for February 15, 2018, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:25 p.m. Eastern, the meeting is open to the public and may be attended via telephone, web conference, or in person.
Source: Federal Register
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SAMHSA: Notice of Meeting
Feb 5, 2018 - Notice from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announcing a meeting of the National Advisory Council (NAC) on February 16, 2018, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Eastern at SAMHSA's office in Rockville, Maryland. The meeting will include remarks from the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, updates from HHS's operating divisions, updates from the ex-officio members, and a council discussion. The meeting is open to the public and may be attended in person or via telephone. Pre-registration is requested.
Source: Federal Register
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RHS: Notice of Request for Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection
Feb 2, 2018 - Notice of intent from the Rural Housing Service (RHS) to revise information collection efforts related to the Community Facilities Grant Program, which makes grants to public agencies, nonprofit organizations, and Indian tribes to develop essential community facilities, such as clinics and hospitals, in rural communities. Information collected will be used to evaluate the overall scope of the project. Comments regarding the proposed revisions and information collection activities must be submitted by April 3, 2018.
Source: Federal Register
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SAMHSA: Advisory Committee for Women's Services (ACWS); Notice of Meeting
Feb 1, 2018 - The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Advisory Committee for Women’s Services (ACWS) will hold an open meeting on February 14, 2018, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Eastern at SAMHSA's main office in Rockville, Maryland. The meeting will include a discussion on assessing SAMHSA's current strategies related to women with behavioral health needs who are either in the criminal justice system or experiencing homelessness. Additionally, the ACWS will be speaking with the Assistant Secretary of Mental Health and Substance Abuse regarding priorities and directions for behavioral health services and access for women and children. The meeting may be attended in person or via telephone, and pre-registration is requested.
Source: Federal Register
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CMS: Medicare, Medicaid, and Children's Health Insurance Programs: Announcement of the Extension of Temporary Moratoria on Enrollment of Part B Non-Emergency Ground Ambulance Suppliers and Home Health Agencies in Designated Geographic Locations
Jan 30, 2018 - In order to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has extended the statewide moratoria on the enrollment of new Medicare Part B non-emergency ground ambulance providers and suppliers of Medicare home health agencies, subunits, and branch locations in Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Texas, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. The extension takes effect January 29, 2018, and also applies to the Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in those states.
Source: Federal Register
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FNS: Summer Food Service Program 2018 Reimbursement Rates
Jan 29, 2018 - Notice from the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) announcing the annual adjustments to the reimbursement rates for meals served in the Summer Food Service Program for Children. Includes rates specific to rural areas.
Source: Federal Register
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CMS: Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Quarterly Listing of Program Issuances - October Through December 2017
Jan 26, 2018 - Quarterly listing of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) manual instructions, substantive and interpretive regulations, and Federal Register notices published from October through December, 2017. Also includes contact information for general questions or additional information about a specific section.
Source: Federal Register
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CMS: Medicare Program; Request for Nominations to the Advisory Panel on Hospital Outpatient Payment
Jan 26, 2018 - Notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requesting nominations to fill vacancies on the Advisory Panel on Hospital Outpatient Payment. The Panel advises the Secretary of HHS and the Administrator of CMS on the clinical integrity of the Ambulatory Payment Classification (ACP) group and their associated weights, and supervision of hospital outpatient therapeutic services. Panel members must be full-time employees of hospitals, hospital systems, or other Medicare providers that are subject to the OPPS. Some of the panel members must be from rural regions and/or represent Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs). Two vacancies will occur in calendar year 2018 and nominations are accepted on an ongoing basis.
Source: Federal Register
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CMS: Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Application by The Compliance Team for Continued CMS Approval of Its Rural Health Clinic Accreditation Program
Jan 23, 2018 - Proposed notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) acknowledging the receipt of an application from The Compliance Team (TCT) for continued recognition as a national accrediting organization for Rural Health Clinics (RHCs). TCT's current 6-year term expires July 18, 2018. Comments on whether TCT's requirements meet or exceed the Medicare conditions for certification of RHCs must be submitted no later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern on February 22, 2018.
Source: Federal Register
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DEA: Implementation of the Provision of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 Relating to the Dispensing of Narcotic Drugs for Opioid Use Disorder
Jan 23, 2018 - Final rule from Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) expanding the categories of practitioners who may, under certain conditions on a temporary basis, dispense a narcotic drug for the purpose of treating opioid use disorders. In an effort to make treatment more accessible for rural patients, "qualifying practitioner" now includes physician assistants and nurse practitioners. The rule brings the DEA's regulations into agreement with provisions of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), which was signed into law in 2016.
Source: Federal Register
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HHS: Announcement of Meeting of the Secretary's Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2030
Jan 23, 2018 - The Secretary’s Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2030 will hold an open meeting via webinar on February 28, 2018, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern. The committee will discuss the nation's health promotion and disease prevention priorities and provide recommendations to improve health status and reduce health risks by the year 2030. Pre-registration is required and must be completed by 9:00 a.m. Eastern on February 28, 2018.
Source: Federal Register
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HHS: Annual Update of the HHS Poverty Guidelines
Jan 18, 2018 - Announces the updated 2018 Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) federal poverty guidelines for the 48 contiguous states, Alaska, and Hawaii, which took effect January 13, 2018. The HHS poverty guidelines are a simplified version of the poverty thresholds issued by the U.S. Census Bureau and are used to determine eligibility for several federal programs.
Source: Federal Register
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FCC: Promoting Telehealth in Rural America; Correction
Jan 17, 2018 - Corrects the reply date that was incorrectly published in a January 3, 2018, proposed rule seeking comments on how to strengthen the Rural Health Care Program and improve access to telehealth in rural America. Reply comments are due on or before March 5, 2018, rather than the originally published February 20, 2018.
Source: Federal Register
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GAO: Request for Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission Nominations
Jan 16, 2018 - The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is requesting nominations for new members to the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC). MACPAC reviews Medicaid and CHIP access and payment policies, and advises Congress on issues affecting Medicaid and CHIP. Nominations are due by February 5, 2018, and appointments take effect May 1, 2018.
Source: Federal Register
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EOP: Supporting Broadband Tower Facilities in Rural America on Federal Properties Managed by the Department of the Interior
Jan 12, 2018 - Official memorandum from the Executive Office of the President (EOP) outlining the Administration's intent to use all appropriate and available tools to accelerate the deployment of modern, affordable, and reliable high-speed broadband connectivity in rural America. The memorandum also directs the Secretary of the Interior to develop a plan to support these efforts by increasing access to tower facilities and other infrastructure assets managed by the Department of the Interior (DOI).
Source: Federal Register
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HHS: Regulatory Agenda
Jan 12, 2018 - Semiannual regulatory agenda from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) outlining the rulemaking activities HHS expects to undertake in the foreseeable future. Includes abstracts for prospective HHS rules that are expected to have major economic impacts on a substantial number of small entities.
Source: Federal Register
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EOP: Streamlining and Expediting Requests To Locate Broadband Facilities in Rural America
Jan 11, 2018 - Executive order designed to improve access to broadband internet service in rural America by reducing barriers to capital investment, removing obstacles to broadband services, and more efficiently employing government resources. The order also directs the Administrator of General Services to review and streamline the process for expediting requests to locate broadband facilities on federal property.
Source: Federal Register
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SAMHSA: Center for Substance Abuse Prevention; Notice of Meeting
Jan 11, 2018 - Notice from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announcing a meeting of the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) National Advisory Council (NAC), which is scheduled on February 14, 2018, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern. The meeting is open to the public and will include discussions on opioid use prevention, the substance use prevention workforce, and recent CSAP program developments.
Source: Federal Register
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HRSA: Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Public Comment Request Information Collection Request Title: Office for the Advancement of Telehealth Outcome Measures, OMB No. 0915-0311-Revision
Jan 10, 2018 - Notice of intent from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to revise information collection efforts as part of the Office for the Advancement of Telehealth's Telehealth Network Grant Program. Information collected will be used to evaluate and monitor grantees' progress in the following areas: improving access to needed services, reducing rural practitioner isolation, improving health system productivity and efficiency, and improving patient outcomes. Additionally, newly added measures will help evaluate telehealth services delivered through rural schools. Comments regarding the proposed information collection activities must be submitted no later than March 12, 2018.
Source: Federal Register
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HRSA: Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Public Comment Request Information Collection Request Title: Small Health Care Provider Quality Improvement Program, OMB No. 0915-0387-Revision.
Jan 9, 2018 - Notice of intent from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to collect information as part of the Small Health Care Provider Quality Improvement Grant (Rural Quality) Program, which provides support to rural primary care providers for implementation of quality improvement activities. Information collected will help the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) measure the impact of the grant funding on access to rural healthcare, quality of services, and improvement of health outcomes. Comments regarding the proposed information collection activities must be submitted no later than March 12, 2018.
Source: Federal Register
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HRSA: National Advisory Council on Migrant Health
Jan 8, 2018 - The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is seeking nominations for voting members to fill eight vacancies on the National Advisory Council on Migrant Health (NACMH), which makes recommendations to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services on issues concerning migrant health centers. Nominees must be board members of a migrant health center or other entity funded under section 330 of the Public Health Service Act, and familiar with the delivery of primary care to migratory and seasonal agricultural workers and their families. Additionally, five nominees must also be patients of the entities they represent. Nominations are accepted on a continuous basis.
Source: Federal Register
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EBSA: Definition of “Employer” Under Section 3(5) of ERISA-Association Health Plans
Jan 5, 2018 - Proposed rule from the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) that would modify the definition of "employer" and broaden the criteria for determining when an employer may join together in a group or association that is treated as the sponsor of a "group health plan" or "employee welfare benefit plan." The goal of the proposed rule is to expand access to affordable health coverage by removing undue restrictions on association health plans and allowing the sale of health insurance across state lines. Comments regarding provisions of the proposed rule must be submitted on or before March 6, 2018.
Source: Federal Register
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IHS: Reimbursement Rates for Calendar Year 2018
Jan 5, 2018 - Notice from the Indian Health Service (IHS) announcing the calendar year 2018 reimbursement rates for inpatient and outpatient care provided to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries by IHS facilities. The updated rates apply to all qualifying services provided on or after January 1, 2018.
Source: Federal Register
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FCC: Promoting Telehealth in Rural America
Jan 3, 2018 - Proposed rule from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seeking to ensure that rural providers get the support they need, while also guarding against fraud, waste, and abuse. The proposed rule also seeks to mitigate the impact of the existing Rural Health Care (RHC) Program cap, and ensure that the program operates efficiently. The RHC Program, which includes the Healthcare Connect Fund, provides funding to eligible rural providers to improve and/or expand the telecommunications and broadband services necessary for the provision of healthcare. Funding for the RHC Program is currently capped at $400 million annually. Comments regarding the proposed rule must be submitted no later than February 2, 2018.
Source: Federal Register
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HHS: Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records
Jan 3, 2018 - Final rule from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) making changes to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) regulations governing the confidentiality of substance use disorder patient records. This rule addresses the prohibition on re-disclosure notice, the circumstances under which patient identifying information may be used for the purposes of payment, healthcare operations, and audits/evaluations, and also makes minor technical corrections intended to clarify SAMHSA's regulations. Provisions of the rule, which are designed to protect patient confidentiality and more appropriately align current regulations with advances in the U.S. healthcare delivery system, take effect February 2, 2018.
Source: Federal Register
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HHS: Meeting of the Advisory Committee on Minority Health
Dec 29, 2017 - Announces a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Minority Health (ACMH), which will be held on March 26, 2018, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and March 27, 2018, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Eastern. The primary discussion will focus on strategies to improve the health of racial and ethnic minority populations through the development of health policies and programs that will help eliminate health disparities, with an emphasis on serious mental illness. The meeting will be open for public attendance and pre-registration is required.
Source: Federal Register
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SAMHSA: Center for Substance Abuse Treatment; Notice of Meeting
Dec 29, 2017 - Notice from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announcing a meeting of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) National Advisory Council (NAC), which is scheduled on February 14, 2018, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern. The meeting is open to the public and will include consideration of minutes from the August 10, 2017, CSAT NAT meeting, the director's report, a budget update, and discussions on substance abuse disorder spending estimates and the opioid epidemic. The meeting may be accessed in person or via telephone, and pre-registration is requested.
Source: Federal Register
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CMS: Medicare Program Contract Year 2019 Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage, Medicare Cost Plan, Medicare Fee-For-Service, the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Programs, and the PACE Program; Correction
Dec 28, 2017 - Corrects several technical and typographical errors that were printed in a November 28, 2017, proposed rule, which would revise Medicare Advantage (Part C) and Prescription Drug Benefit (Part D) regulations to implement certain provisions contained in the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) and the 21st Century Cures Act.
Source: Federal Register
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HRSA: Council on Graduate Medical Education
Dec 28, 2017 - The Council on Graduate Medical Education (COGME) will hold an open meeting on January 29, 2018, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and January 30, 2018, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Eastern to discuss the strategic directions of the Council, issues related to physician workforce development, and possible topics for its 24th report to Congress. COGME will also discuss the HRSA proposal for a quality bonus payment system for eligible hospitals within the Children's Hospital Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) program. The meeting may be attended via teleconference, webinar, or in person.
Source: Federal Register
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CMS: Medicare Program: Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment Systems and Quality Reporting Programs; Correction
Dec 27, 2017 - Corrects several technical errors that were printed in a December 14, 2017, final rule revising the Medicare Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and the Medicare Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Payment System for calendar year 2018. The original final rule and listed corrections take effect January 1, 2018.
Source: Federal Register
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CMS: Medicare Program; Medicare Shared Savings Program: Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Policies for Performance Year 2017
Dec 26, 2017 - Interim final rule with comment period establishing policies for assessing the financial and quality performance of Medicare Shared Savings Program Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) affected by extreme and uncontrollable circumstances, such as hurricanes and wildfires, during performance year 2017. Provisions of the rule take effect January 20, 2018, and comments regarding the rule must be submitted no later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern on February 20, 2018.
Source: Federal Register
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RHS: Notice of Solicitation of Applications for Loan Guarantees Under the Section 538 Guaranteed Rural Rental Housing Program for Fiscal Year 2018
Dec 21, 2017 - The Rural Housing Service (RHS) is accepting competitive lender submissions through December 31, 2021, for the fiscal year 2018 Section 538 Guaranteed Rural Rental Housing Program (GRRHP). The GRRHP seeks to increase the supply of affordable rural rental housing through the use of loan guarantees and partnerships between the RHS, private lenders, and public agencies.
Source: Federal Register
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HRSA: Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Public Comment Request; Information Collection Request Title: Rural Health Opioid Program Grant Performance Measures, OMB No. 0906-xxxx-New
Dec 15, 2017 - The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is requesting public comments regarding their intent to collect information from grantees of the Rural Health Opioid Program, which aims to promote rural healthcare services outreach by expanding opioid-related healthcare services to rural communities. Specifically, HRSA will use the collected information to measure grantee performance and assess the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy's (FORHP) progress toward meeting set goals. Comments regarding the proposed information collection must be submitted no later than February 13, 2018.
Source: Federal Register
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CMS: Medicare Programs: Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment Systems and Quality Reporting Programs
Dec 14, 2017 - Corrected republication of a final rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) revising the Medicare Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and the Medicare Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Payment System for calendar year 2018. Included in the rule is a provision that reduces Medicare Part B payments to Disproportionate Share Hospitals (DSHs) and Rural Referral Centers (RRCs) for drugs acquired through the 340B Drug Pricing Program. Effective January 1, 2018, payments to affected facilities will be reduced from average sales price (ASP) plus 6 percent, to ASP minus 22.5 percent. Among others, Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) and rural Sole Community Hospitals (SCHs) are excluded from this payment adjustment. Comments regarding provisions of the rule must be submitted no later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern on December 31, 2017.
Source: Federal Register
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CMS: Medicare Program; Cancellation of Advancing Care Coordination Through Episode Payment and Cardiac Rehabilitation Incentive Payment Models; Changes to Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Payment Model: Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Policy for the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Payment Model
Dec 1, 2017 - Final rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) cancelling the Episode Payment Models (EPMs) and Cardiac Rehabilitation (CR) Incentive Payment Model. The rule also finalizes revisions to the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) Model, making participation in CJR voluntary for all low-volume and rural hospitals, regardless of geographic location. Additionally, the included interim final rule provides flexibility when determining episode costs for providers located in areas affected by extreme circumstances, such as hurricanes, in 2017. Comments regarding provisions of the interim final rule must be submitted no later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern on January 30, 2018. Additional information is available on the November 30, 2017, CMS fact sheet.
Source: Federal Register
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HRSA: Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Public Comment Request Information Collection Request Title: Health Professions Student Loan (HPSL) Program and Nursing Student Loan (NSL) Program Administrative Requirements (Regulations and Policy). OMB No. 0915-0047-Revision
Nov 29, 2017 - Notice from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announcing their intent to revise information collection activities as part of the Health Professions Student Loan (HPSL) Program and Nursing Student Loan (NSL) Program. Proposed revisions include adding the Deferment-HRSA Form 519, which is used to document borrower's deferment status, and the AOR-HRSA Form 501, which provides the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with information about HPSL and NSL program operations and financial activities. Comments regarding the proposed revisions must be submitted no later than January 29, 2018.
Source: Federal Register
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HRSA: Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Public Comment Request; Information Collection Request Title: NURSE Corps Scholarship Program, OMB No. 0915-0301-Revision
Nov 29, 2017 - Notice from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announcing their intent to revise information collection activities as part of the NURSE Corps Scholarship Program. The proposed revisions will incorporate a new CSF Verification Form, which is used to verify participant transfers to critical shortage facilities, and update the Initial Employment Verification Form to include all eligible service sites listed in the NURSE Corps SP Application and Program Guidance. Comments regarding the proposed revisions must be submitted no later than January 29, 2018.
Source: Federal Register
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CMS: Medicare Program; Contract Year 2019 Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage, Medicare Cost Plan, Medicare Fee-for-Service, the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Programs, and the PACE Program
Nov 28, 2017 - Proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that would revise Medicare Advantage (Part C) and Prescription Drug Benefit (Part D) regulations to implement certain provisions contained in the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) and the 21st Century Cures Act. The proposed rule also clarifies the "any willing pharmacy" requirement, which may work to support independent community pharmacies often found in rural areas, and improve rural beneficiaries' access to specialty drugs. Comments regarding provisions of the rule must be submitted no later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern on January 16, 2018. Additional information is available on the November 16, 2017, CMS fact sheet.
Source: Federal Register
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HRSA: Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Public Comment Request
Nov 27, 2017 - Notice of intent from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to revise information collection efforts related to the Rural Health Network Development (RHND) Program, which supports mature, integrated rural healthcare networks that have combined the functions of participating entities to address the healthcare needs of a specific rural community. The proposed revisions will change several measures in the areas of network infrastructure, sustainability, community impact, and access and quality of healthcare. Comments regarding these revisions must be submitted no later than January 26, 2018.
Source: Federal Register
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HRSA: Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Public Comment Request; Information Collection Request Title: NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program OMB No. 0915-0140-Revision
Nov 27, 2017 - Notice of intent from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to revise information collection activities as part of the NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program (LRP). The revisions will add two new forms: (1) The CSF Verification Form, which is used to verify transfers to critical shortage facilities not already recorded in the online portal; and (2) the NURSE Corps Nurse Faculty Employment Verification Form, which is used to determine if nurse faculty participants are eligible to transfer to another approved school of nursing. Comments regarding these revisions must be submitted no later than January 26, 2018.
Source: Federal Register
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HRSA: Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Public Comment Request; Information Collection Request Title: Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program Performance Improvement and Measurement Systems (PIMS) Measures, OMB No. 0906-0009-Revision
Nov 27, 2017 - Notice of intent from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to revise information collection efforts related to the Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program Performance Improvement and Measurement Systems (PIMS). The revisions will reduce the number of measures collected from Outreach Program grantees, and add requirements for data collection to help inform the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Heart Age Calculator and BMI Percentile Calculator for Child and Teen. Comments regarding these revisions must be submitted no later than January 26, 2018.
Source: Federal Register
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RUS: Announcement of Grant Application Deadlines and Funding Levels for the Assistance to High Energy Cost Rural Communities Grant Program
Nov 27, 2017 - Corrects errors that were published in an October 12, 2017, notice (82 FR 47446) announcing funding levels and application deadlines for the fiscal year 2017 Assistance to High Energy Cost Rural Communities Grant Program. Corrections apply to the scoring of high poverty areas, clarifying that areas of high poverty will receive 10 priority points rather than 15.
Source: Federal Register
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RUS: Distance Learning and Telemedicine Loan and Grant Programs
Nov 27, 2017 - Final rule from the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) designed to streamline, revise, and update the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program. The DLT Program works to encourage and improve telemedicine and distance learning in rural areas through the use of computer networks and other advanced technologies. Included changes seek to reduce the regulatory burden of applying for the grants and ensure funds are awarded to projects with the most demonstrable need. Provisions of the rule take effect December 27, 2017.
Source: Federal Register
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