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Rural Health
News by Topic: Reimbursement and payment models

Jun 25, 2019 - Proposed changes to the Medicare area wage index would increase payments for some rural hospitals, funded by decreasing payments to other hospitals. The area wage index currently adjusts Medicare reimbursements based on area labor market wages, which means rural areas with lower wages receive lower reimbursements.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Jun 21, 2019 - Request for nominations for the Physician-Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee, which will provide feedback on physician payment models to the Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary. Nominations are due July 19, 2019.
Source: Federal Register
Jun 7, 2019 - Notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) correcting technical and typographical errors in the rule published April 16, 2019. The corrections are effective as if they had been included in the April 16, 2019 notice. The original notice increased access to telehealth services for Medicare Advantage beneficiaries, changed how star ratings are calculated, and more.
Source: Federal Register
Jun 3, 2019 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed a change in how Medicare payments are calculated that is intended to increase reimbursement for rural hospitals. Rural hospitals are hoping it will help address disparities in payments under the current wage index rule that provides lower payments to hospitals in areas with lower median wages.
Source: Kaiser Health News
May 30, 2019 - A new law in Texas allows Level IV trauma facilities to use telemedicine services to meet the requirements to have a physician able to respond within 30 minutes to the emergency room year-round, which can help rural hospitals maintain their Level IV status. Another bill would provide Medicaid reimbursement for telemedicine services and certain telehealth costs and services for Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs).
Source: Big Country
May 29, 2019 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services corrects the total minutes for the clinical staff time and admission time for the Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility (IRF) quality reporting program initially published in the April 24, 2019 proposed rule.
Source: Federal Register
May 15, 2019 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a letter of intent form for those interested in participating in one if its Primary Care Initiative payment options. The professional option allows participants to retain half of their savings and pay back half of their loses, whereas those in the global option would retain all savings and pay back all losses. Non-binding letters of intent are due August 2, 2019.
Source: American Hospital Association
May 14, 2019 - Radio interview with three 2018-2019 National Rural Health Association (NRHA) Rural Health Fellows: Dr. Windy Alonso, Dr. Elizabeth Crouch, and Nicole Thorell. Focuses on Medicare and Medicaid payments for telehealth in rural areas, barriers to telehealth, and the potential for telehealth to benefit the rural U.S. Also addresses rural leadership and challenges and opportunities for rural health.
Source: Rural Health Leadership Radio
May 13, 2019 - Rural hospitals in Maryland had fewer outpatient visits after implementation of Maryland's global budget program, but otherwise showed no change, according to a newly published research study. Viewpoints vary on what is working well or could be improved for Maryland's all-payer model.
Source: Healthcare Dive