Dec 6, 2023 - Notice from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) seeking comments on the reinstatement of an information collection related to the CMS–1561 form, which applies to specific types of health care providers and opioid treatment programs, and the CMS–1561A form, which applies to Rural Health Clinics (RHCs). These forms are health insurance benefits agreements that are essential for CMS to ensure that applicants to the Medicare program have made a binding commitment to comply with all applicable Federal requirements. Comments are due by January 5, 2024.
Dec 4, 2023 - A new program at the University of Iowa is offering a rural-specific curriculum for students in their medical school and potential loan repayment for those who practice in rural areas. The program aims to address physician shortages in Iowa.
Nov 27, 2023 - Discusses the work of the Reaching Rural Initiative, a program offering collaboration to address the rural opioid crisis. Highlights a project in North Carolina developed as part of the Initiative which offers a new community paramedicine program and reentry navigators which help recently incarcerated people access treatment and therapy 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.
Nov 23, 2023 - Highlights a new community ambulance service in rural Texas offering non-emergency healthcare. Community paramedics are able to offer vaccines, pre and postnatal care, and more within the patient's home.
Nov 22, 2023 - Notice of final rule with comment period
from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) revising the Medicare Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Medicare Ambulatory Surgical Center (ACS) payment system for calendar year 2024. This rule also updates and refines the requirements for the Hospital Outpatient Quality Reporting (OQR) Program, ASC Quality Reporting (ASCQR) Program, and the Rural Emergency Hospital Quality Reporting (REHQR) Program and would establish payment for certain intensive outpatient services under Medicare. Among other things, this notice also makes changes to the community mental health center (CMHC) Conditions of Participation (CoPs) to provide requirements for furnishing intensive outpatient (IOP) services and finalizes a technical correction to the Rural Emergency Hospital (REH) Conditions of Participation and outlines a payment methodology for Indian Health Service (IHS) hospitals that convert to REH status. These regulations are effective on January 1, 2024. Comments are due by January 1, 2024.
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.
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.
Nov 15, 2023 - Notice of proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) revising regulations for Medicare Advantage (Part C), Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit (Part D), Medicare cost plan, and Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). This proposed rule also proposes to codify existing Part C and Part D sub-regulatory guidance. Revisions include adding certain behavioral health provider specialties to the Medicare Advantage (MA) network adequacy standards and changes that would help ensure that special supplemental benefits for the chronically ill (SSBCI) items and services offered are appropriate and improve or maintain the health or overall function of chronically ill enrollees. Comments are due by January 5, 2024.
Nov 13, 2023 - Notice of final rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updating the home health and home infusion therapy services payment rates for calendar year (CY) 2024. This rule also finalizes proposals to rebase and revise the home health market basket; revise the labor-related share; update the Home Health Quality Reporting Program (HH QRP) requirements; update the expanded Home Health Value-Based Purchasing (HHVBP) Model; and add an informal dispute resolution (IDR) and special focus program (SFP) for hospice, among other things. Also discusses comments received regarding access to home health aide services. These regulations are effective January 1, 2024.