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Rural Health
News by Topic: Hospitals

May 30, 2023 - New guidelines are being developed to aid the rural emergency medical service workforce with deciding between ground transport to a local hospital versus a trauma center by helicopter. Research shows that the most severely injured have better outcomes when going directly to a trauma center.
Source: KSAT 12
May 25, 2023 - Describes the Rural Emergency Hospital Act, a bill passed by the Arkansas Legislature to create Rural Emergency Hospitals within the Department of Health and declare an emergency. The bill aims to save some hospitals in rural areas from closing, though it will require no longer offering in-patient services.
Source: KATV
May 24, 2023 - Rural Mississippi hospitals are increasingly endangered, as poverty, declining populations, and dwindling inpatient revenue chip away at profits. Federal aid appropriated during the pandemic seemed to slow the rate of closures, but now some are in worse shape than before, as they struggle with ongoing staff shortages and rising costs.
Source: Roll Call
May 23, 2023 - Executives from Dartmouth Heath, MaineHealth, and The University of Vermont Health Network participated in a panel discussion about rural hospitals and their difficulties. Challenges include workforce shortages, hospital closures, housing costs, and the need for creative scheduling.
Source: Chief Healthcare Executive
May 22, 2023 - Announcement from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) of receipt of an application for initial recognition of the Center for Improvement in Healthcare Quality (CIHQ) as a national accrediting organization for psychiatric hospitals that wish to participate in the Medicare or Medicaid programs. Comments are due by June 21, 2023.
Source: Federal Register
May 22, 2023 - Announcement from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) of the approval of the Center for Improvement in Healthcare Quality (CIHQ) as a national accrediting organization for Critical Access Hospitals that wish to participate in the Medicare or Medicaid programs. The approval is effective June 1, 2023, to June 1, 2027.
Source: Federal Register
May 19, 2023 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing a policy change for the rural floor wage index in 2024 that could have profound financial effects on urban and rural hospitals. Under this proposal CMS would treat hospitals with rural classifications the same as geographically rural hospitals when calculating the wage index.
Source: HealthLeaders
May 19, 2023 - Explores healthcare issues facing disparate rural North Carolina counties, including hospital closures, drug overdose deaths, workforce shortages, and high rates of uninsured patients.
Source: North Carolina Health News
May 17, 2023 - Describes challenges faced by St. Luke's Health – Memorial San Augustine, a rural, one-story hospital in East Texas. The hospital recently eliminated inpatient services as part of its conversion from Critical Access Hospital status to Rural Emergency Hospital.
Source: Marketplace
May 17, 2023 - U.S. Senators Joe Manchin, Joni Ernst, Jeanne Shaheen, and Jerry Moran reintroduced the Protecting Rural Telehealth Access Act. This legislation would ensure rural and underserved community healthcare providers can permanently offer telehealth services, including audio-only telehealth appointments, that are set to expire in December 2024.
Source: Office of Senator Joe Manchin
May 16, 2023 - Highlights changes and challenges in rural health care access, including hospital closures, transportation issues, lack of obstetric services and mental health services, poor outcomes among Black or Native American populations, and lack of services for veterans.
Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office
May 15, 2023 - Describes the lack of maternity care services in Vinton County, the least populated county in Ohio. The only available medical care in Vinton County is a Federally Qualified Health Center, and the drive to hospitals in neighboring counties is at least 30 minutes long.
Source: Akron Beacon Journal
May 15, 2023 - Highlights a Federal Office of Rural Health Policy-funded Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies (RMOMS) program located in Clayton, New Mexico. The RMOMS program was created to increase access to maternal healthcare in rural communities through the use of telehealth and the creation of networks of hospitals and clinics.
Source: KFF Health News
May 11, 2023 - Describes the guidelines for the new Rural Emergency Hospital facility designation including types of care allowed, reimbursement rules, and other federal and state rules.
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures
May 8, 2023 - Describes the impact of inflation and interest rate increases on small rural hospitals. Notes that large capital expenses, such as purchasing new equipment, facility maintenance, or expansion, become more expensive because money is more likely to be borrowed than larger facilities with more resources. Hospitals with bigger reserves are more likely able to outlast higher interest rates.
Source: Marketplace
May 2, 2023 - Highlights programs by rural hospitals to address rural maternal health. Initiatives include prenatal curriculum to improve pregnancy and birth outcomes and telehealth for both neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) patients and women seeking prenatal care.
Source: American Hospital Association
May 1, 2023 - Notice of proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding changes to the hospital inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) for operating and capital-related costs of acute care hospitals for fiscal year 2024. Contains details of changes impacting Medicare graduate medical education (GME) for teaching hospitals and inpatient hospital services provided by long-term care hospitals, among other things. This proposed rule also includes information and updates on the Rural Emergency Hospital (REH) designation. Comments are due by June 9, 2023.
Source: Federal Register
Apr 28, 2023 - Describes social determinant of health initiatives from a health system in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan. Includes information on the ProMedica Farm and Veggie Mobile, a program designed to tackle food insecurity in a Michigan food desert.
Source: American Hospital Association
Apr 25, 2023 - Discusses the decision to convert to a Rural Emergency Hospital (REH) by a rural Texas hospital faced with closing. Outlines which services will continue to be available at the hospital. Funding for emergency medical services (EMS) are not part of REH guidelines so the ability for continued EMS service at the hospital is unknown.
Source: KTAB, KRBC, Telemundo Abilene,
Apr 25, 2023 - Discusses proposed legislation in Nevada that would allow certain rural hospitals to convert to Rural Emergency Hospital designation. 13 hospitals in Nevada could qualify for the designation if the bill passes. Legislation aims to prevent complete closure of some hospitals in the state.
Source: The Nevada Independent
Apr 14, 2023 - Notice from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announcing the final federal share (FS) Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) allotments for fiscal years (FY) 2020 and 2021, and the preliminary FS DSH allotments for FY 2022 and FY 2023. This notice also announces the final FY 2020 and FY 2021 and the preliminary FY 2022 and FY 2023 limitations on aggregate DSH payments that states may make to institutions for mental disease and other mental health facilities. The allotments are effective May 15, 2023.
Source: Federal Register
Apr 14, 2023 - Notice from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announcing its approval of the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC) for continued recognition as a national accrediting organization for hospitals that wish to participate in the Medicare or Medicaid programs. Comments are due by May 15, 2023.
Source: Federal Register
Apr 11, 2023 - The closure of Madera Community Hospital and three associated clinics earlier this year has left Madera County's 160,000 residents with no general hospital and only a small handful of clinics operated by other providers. According to a Farmworker Health Study, between one-third and one-half of California farmworkers surveyed suffer from chronic diseases, including diabetes and hypertension, and the vast majority are considered either overweight or obese.
Source: PBS News Hour
Apr 11, 2023 - Highlights the closure of a residency training program in rural northeastern Nevada, and describes common barriers to establishing and sustaining training programs for doctors throughout rural America.
Source: Kaiser Health News
Apr 10, 2023 - The Georgia state Department of Community Health is using an under-the-radar Medicaid funding mechanism called "directed payments," which is available only for states that hire health insurers to deliver services for Medicaid. The Government Accountability Office and the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) say federal health officials should do more to monitor directed payments and evaluate whether states meet the program's goals.
Source: Kaiser Health News
Apr 10, 2023 - The role of telehealth in trauma was highlighted in a session at the recent American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma annual meeting in Chicago. The session focused on teletrauma as an important tool to support providers and patients.
Source: American College of Surgeons
Apr 7, 2023 - Notice of a proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) seeking comments on updates to the prospective payment system for inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs) for fiscal year 2024. Among other things, this proposed rule would rebase and revise the IRF market basket to reflect a 2021 base year, modifies the regulation regarding when IRF units can become excluded and paid under the IRF PPS, and updates the IRF Quality Reporting Program. Includes rural considerations throughout. Comments are due by June 2, 2023.
Source: Federal Register
Apr 7, 2023 - New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has signed into law 5 healthcare-related bills that will support and strengthen the state's healthcare workforce and make healthcare more affordable and accessible across the state.
Source: Office of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham
Apr 7, 2023 - According to a report by the healthcare consulting firm Chartis, 217 hospitals in the United States have closed their labor and delivery departments since 2011. Bonner General Health, in rural Idaho, announced that it would suspend its labor and delivery services in May.
Source: CNN Health
Apr 7, 2023 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released guidance on proper billing practices, designations, and conversion processes for Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) and Rural Emergency Hospitals (REHs). CMS updated the location requirement for CAHs, detailed the optional payment method for CAHs, and included information on the REH provider type,
Source: HealthLeaders Media
Apr 6, 2023 - A study published in Health Affairs found that 77 percent of rural hospitals experiencing financial instability between 2010-2018 remained open without merging, 7 percent faced closures, and 17 percent merged. Demand for care in rural hospitals has decreased because of declining populations, patients seeking care outside their local area, and a shift toward ambulatory care.
Source: RevCycleIntelligence