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Rural Health
News by Topic: Hospitals

Public Inspection: CMS: Medicare Programs: Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment Systems and Quality Reporting Programs Federal Register
Dec 13, 2017 - 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 Federal Register
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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A Conversation with Steve Tenhouse
Nov 21, 2017 - Radio interview with Steve Tenhouse, the CEO of Kirby Medical Center, a Critical Access Hospital in Illinois. Discussion includes the importance of a hospital's culture, lessons learned as a hospital CEO, and the importance of rural hospitals, among other things.
Source: Rural Health Leadership Radio
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Trump Administration Moves to Alter Drug Discount Program That Many Rural Hospitals Rely On
Nov 21, 2017 - Details the 340B prescription drug program that allows hospitals serving low-income patients to buy medication at a discount and sell it to local pharmacies in order to bolster their bottom lines. In rural areas, this program has prevented hospital closures. A final rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2018 would reduce funding for hospitals in the program. Includes commentary from both those who support and those who oppose the rule.
Source: KBIA
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'Deeply Saddened': Another Rural Alabama Hospital Closing
Nov 18, 2017 - Details the upcoming closure of a rural hospital in Winston County, Alabama. Lakeland Community Hospital, a 59-bed facility, announced that it will cease operations by the end of the year, citing drastic reductions in reimbursements. This will be the seventh hospital closure in Alabama in eight years.
Source: AL.com
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Ways & Means Committee Leaders Announce Bipartisan Medicare Extenders Package
Nov 15, 2017 - The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means announced a bipartisan agreement to extend several expiring Medicare payment policies, including the Medicare Dependent Hospital Program and the Low-Volume Adjustment Program. The agreement includes offsetting the cost of these extensions with funding from other programs, including payments for Critical Access Hospital swing beds.
Source: U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means
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CMS: Medicare Program: Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment Systems and Quality Reporting Programs Federal Register
Nov 13, 2017 - 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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Critical Access Hospitals Unlikely to Engage in Advanced EHR Use
Nov 8, 2017 - According to a new study, Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) are less likely than other hospitals to use Electronic Health Record (EHR) data for performance measurement and patient engagement. The study suggested that this disparity could indicate a digital divide impacting small, rural and safety-net hospitals' ability to effectively use this data to improve the quality of patient care.
Source: EHR Intelligence
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The Joint Commission Reports Increased Electronic Clinical Quality Measure (eCQM) Adoption and Reporting from U.S. Hospitals
Nov 7, 2017 - The Joint Commission's annual report, America's Hospitals: Improving Quality and Safety found that an increased number of hospitals are adopting and reporting electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs). Reporting this data is linked with quality improvement and is voluntary.
Source: The Joint Commission
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CMS: Medicaid Program; Final FY 2015 and Preliminary FY 2017 Disproportionate Share Hospital Allotments, and Final FY 2015 and Preliminary FY 2017 Institutions for Mental Diseases Disproportionate Share Hospital Limits Federal Register
Nov 3, 2017 - Announces the final federal share Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) allotments for fiscal year (FY) 2015 and the preliminary federal share DSH allotments for FY 2017. This notice also describes the methodology used to determine amounts of states' FY DSH allotments.
Source: Federal Register
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