Dec 2, 2022 - Describes the new Rural Emergency Hospital (REH) designation and explores the possibility that the Iowa legislature might soon pass resolutions that would allow a recently-closed hospital in Keokuk, Iowa to reopen as an REH by mid-year 2023.
Nov 30, 2022 - Describes a new report from healthcare consulting firm Kaufman Hall, showing that nearly 1 out of every 10 Texas hospitals are now at risk of closure. The report highlights COVID-19's toll on Texas hospitals as they face growing strain from surges in respiratory illness, workforce shortages, and rising costs of medication, medical supplies, and labor.
Nov 29, 2022 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is allowing an additional 30 days for comments on the information collection request titled "National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) Coronavirus (COVID-19) Surveillance in Healthcare Facilities." The information collected through this version of NHSN is intended to inform the federal government's understanding of disease patterns, including the changing burden of disease, and develop policies for the prevention and control of problems related to COVID-19. Comments are due within 30 days of this notice.
Nov 27, 2022 - Leaders from the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center and Covenant Health System discuss challenges to the rural healthcare system, such as broadband access and insufficient funding. Includes a county-level map showing counties without a hospital and locations of Critical Access Hospitals in West Texas.
Nov 23, 2022 - Notice of final rule 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 2023. This rule also establishes the Rural Emergency Hospital (REH) provider type and outlines REH payment policy, Conditions of Participation (CoPs), quality measures, and enrollment policy. Among other things, this rule also finalizes changes to the Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) CoPs regarding location and distance requirements, patient's rights requirements, and flexibilities for CAHs that are part of a larger health system. This rule is effective January 1, 2023.
Nov 23, 2022 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) is accepting applications for grants under the Rural Business Development Grant Program for fiscal year 2023. Applications that will help rural communities, particularly disadvantaged communities, recover economically; ensure all rural residents have equitable access to USDA Rural Development (RD) programs and benefits from RD funded projects; and reduce climate pollution and increase resilience to the impacts of climate change through economic support are encouraged. Applications are due by February 28, 2023.
Nov 22, 2022 - Announces $350 million in funding for COVID-19 vaccination services in underserved communities through HRSA-supported health centers. Describes the aims of the initiative to provide mobile, drive-up, walk-up, and community-based vaccination events, as well as the role of health centers in providing access to healthcare for underserved and rural populations.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Nov 17, 2022 - Announces $13 million in grant awards to healthcare facilities in rural parts of Wisconsin through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Emergency Rural Health Care program. The funding is intended to assist hospitals and healthcare providers implement telehealth and nutrition assistance programs, increase staffing to support COVID-19 testing and vaccines, build or renovate facilities, and to purchase necessary medical supplies.
Source: Rural Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Nov 15, 2022 - Notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) seeking nominations to fill vacancies on the Advisory Panel (the Panel) on Hospital Outpatient Payment (HOP). The purpose of the Panel is to advise the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on the clinical integrity of the Ambulatory Payment Classification (APC) groups and their associated weights, supervision of hospital outpatient therapeutic services, and hospital outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) APC rates for covered ambulatory surgical centers procedures. Comments are due by February 13, 2023.