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Rural Health
News by Topic: Emergency medical services

Nov 24, 2023 - Highlights the use of telehealth in rural ambulance services in South Dakota, useful for rural medics with less experience treating severe injuries. Notes that South Dakota has the only statewide program in the country.
Source: CBS News, KFF Health News
Nov 20, 2023 - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is seeking comments on a request for information related to the planned re-envisioning of the 2000 EMS Education Agenda for the Future: A Systems Approach. Includes background information and presents key questions related to the revision of the Education Agenda. Comments are due by March 31, 2024.
Source: Federal Register
Nov 16, 2023 - Notice of final rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) making changes to the following: 1) Physician Fee Schedule and Medicare Part B payment policies; 2) payment for dental services inextricably linked to specific covered medical services; 3) Medicare Shared Savings Program requirements; 4) updates to the Quality Payment Program; 5) Medicare coverage of opioid use disorder services furnished by opioid treatment programs; 6) updates to certain Medicare and Medicaid provider enrollment policies; 7) electronic prescribing for controlled substances for a covered Part D drug under a prescription drug plan or an MA-PD plan; 8) updates to the Ambulance Fee Schedule regulations and the Medicare Ground Ambulance Data Collection System; 9) expansion of the diabetes screening and diabetes definitions; 10) pulmonary rehabilitation, cardiac rehabilitation and intensive cardiac rehabilitation expansion of supervising practitioners; 11) appropriate use criteria for advanced diagnostic imaging; 12) early release of Medicare Advantage risk adjustment data; and 13) a social determinants of health risk assessment in the annual wellness visit and Basic Health Program. This rule also codifies provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act and Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023. Includes rural references throughout. These regulations are effective on January 1, 2024.
Source: Federal Register
Oct 25, 2023 - Offers an overview of comments to legislators regarding ambulance services in rural Nebraska. Notes that distance between hospitals, funding, shortages of volunteers, and scope of practice make access to emergency services limited for rural residents.
Source: Nebraska Examiner
Oct 5, 2023 - Discusses a shortage of fire department volunteers in Vermont. 88% of fire departments in Vermont are staffed in part or entirely by volunteers. Calls have tripled in the last 30 years with most of the calls being emergency medical calls for traffic accidents. Discusses the impact that the economy has on people's ability to volunteer.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Oct 2, 2023 - The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Ground Ambulance and Patient Billing (GAPB) Advisory Committee will hold a virtual public meeting on October 31 - November 1, 2023. The GAPB Advisory Committee will make recommendations with respect to the disclosure of charges and fees for ground ambulance services and insurance coverage; consumer protection; enforcement authorities of the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury and relevant States; and the prevention of balance billing to consumers. The recommendations will address options, best practices, and identified standards to prevent instances of balance billing; steps that can be taken by State legislatures, insurance regulators, attorneys general, and other State officials; and legislative options for Congress to prevent balance billing. Registration is required by October 30, 2023.
Source: Federal Register