Skip to main content

Rural Health
News by Topic: Emergency medical services

Nov 15, 2019 - Notice of final rule and interim final rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to be published in the Federal Register on November 15, 2019. The final rule includes changes to the Physician Fee Schedule and Medicare Part B payment policies; updates to quality reporting requirements for the Medicare Shared Savings Program; Medicaid Promoting Interoperability Program requirements for eligible professionals; the establishment of an ambulance data collection system; updates to the Quality Payment Program; Medicare enrollment of Opioid Treatment Programs and enhancements to provider enrollment regulations concerning improper prescribing and patient harm; and amendments to Physician Self-Referral Law advisory opinion regulations. The interim final rule with comment period establishes coding and payment for evaluation and management, observation, and the provision of self-administered Esketamine to facilitate beneficiary access to care for treatment-resistant depression as efficiently as possible. Comments on the interim final rule are due by December 31, 2019. No comments will be accepted on the final rule. Both rules are effective January 1, 2020.
Source: Federal Register
Nov 1, 2019 - Fact sheet from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) detailing a final rule that includes updates to payment policies and rates, as well as quality provisions for services under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS). Discusses payment for services such as telehealth, care management, opioid treatment programs, therapy, and more.
Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Oct 29, 2019 - Notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services seeking comment on the potential expansion of the Repetitive, Scheduled Non-Emergent Ambulance Transport (RSNAT) Prior Authorization model to a national program. Comments on the proposal are due by December 30, 2019.
Source: Federal Register
Oct 22, 2019 - As the aging population increases in rural Western Washington, so does the number of non-medical 9-1-1 calls. Healthcare workers discuss solutions, such as community risk-reduction programs that would assess the needs of older Americans and connect them with resources to reduce their need to call emergency services.
Source: Peninsula Daily News
Oct 22, 2019 - Features small, rural towns in North Dakota at risk of losing their emergency medical services due to minimal funding and shrinking populations. Rural communities often lack the resources to fund equipment and personnel, so EMS agencies across the country rely on volunteers who are already spreading themselves thin.
Source: NBC News
Oct 21, 2019 - Features a small independent emergency medical services company in rural Mississippi. Describes the challenges to rural EMS business owners, including lack of reimbursement for services, increasing hospital closures, difficulty recruiting and retaining personnel, and limited government resources.
Source: Mississippi Today
Sep 28, 2019 - Explores the vast medical desert in west Texas as one man is the only doctor to care for three remote counties. Contains examples of the many patients he sees in a given day and identifies what it takes to recruit and retain physicians in rural areas. (May require a subscription).
Source: The Washington Post
Sep 26, 2019 - Describes funding as the biggest issue rural emergency service (EMS) agencies in Iowa are facing. Highlights St. Luke's Foundation who awarded $25,000 to 10 fire and EMS departments in rural areas to help ease the burden of costs.
Source: KWWL
Sep 16, 2019 - Since the local hospital closed earlier this year, residents of Fort Scott, Kansas have seen an increase in advertisements from air ambulance services. Discusses potential problems with the way that the subscription-based air ambulance services work for those with health insurance and how some states are using insurance regulations to limit the reach of the programs. Part 5 of the "No Mercy" series addressing the impact of a hospital closure on the rural community.
Source: Kaiser Health News