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Rural Health
News by Topic: Reimbursement and payment models

Medicare Payment Advisory Commission Releases Report on Medicare and the Health Care Delivery System
Jun 18, 2018 - The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has released its June 2018 Report to the Congress: Medicare and the Health Care Delivery System. Included in it is a recommendation to establish an outpatient-only hospital option for rural communities, thus allowing them to maintain access to emergency department services.
Source: MedPAC
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Global Hospital Budgets in Maryland: When Economics and Altruism Align
Jun 14, 2018 - Blog post highlighting Maryland's all-payer global budgeting system. Includes some early evaluations as well as anecdotal comments from hospital CEOs and officials made during a panel discussion at a day-long policy academy organized by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and co-sponsored by the Milbank Memorial Fund.
Source: Milbank Memorial Fund Blog: The View From Here
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U.S. Department of Labor Issues New Rule to Update Payment Of Medical Benefits Under Black Lung Benefits Act
Jun 13, 2018 - The U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) published a final rule under the Black Lung Benefits Act, which provides compensation and payment for medical services to miners who are totally disabled due to pneumoconiosis, or black lung disease. The new regulations adopt industry-standard payment formulas, codify the black lung program's current payment practice for prescription drug payments, and its bill-processing procedures.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor
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Health Equity Data Access Program
Jun 7, 2018 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of Minority Health (OMH) is supporting three "seats" in the CMS Virtual Research Data Center (VRDC) to assist researchers in gaining access to CMS restricted data for minority health research. Awardees will gain access to CMS data to conduct health services research focusing on minority populations. This announcement seeks brief project narratives for specific applied research projects that relate to creative and innovative methods for using CMS data to identify, document, assess, and evaluate health disparities among Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. Applications must be submitted by June 16, 2018.
Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
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Rural America Has Too Few Dentists — and Too Few Patients Who Can Pay
Jun 7, 2018 - Discusses oral health needs and disparities in rural America, focusing on a rural town in West Virginia. Although things like workforce shortages and preventive services either being reimbursed at low rates or not being covered at all by Medicaid or Medicare can contribute to the problem, this also touches on the economic realities of rural America and how difficult it can be to afford care even when it is accessible. (May require subscription to view full article.)
Source: The Washington Post
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Quality Payment Program Exceeds Year 1 Participation Goal
May 31, 2018 - Blog post from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma announcing that 91% of clinicians eligible for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) participated in the first year of the Quality Payment Program (QPP). CMS' goal had been 90% participation. The submission rates for Accountable Care Organizations and clinicians in rural practices were at 98% and 94%. Also touches on new CMS efforts to improve MIPS requirements.
Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Blog
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CMS Safeguards Patient Access to Certain Medical Equipment and Services In Rural and Other Non-contiguous Communities
May 9, 2018 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an interim final rule that would increase the fee schedule rates from June 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018 for certain durable medical equipment (DME) items and services and enteral nutrition furnished in rural and non-contiguous areas not subject to the Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program (CBP). This rule includes a comment period open through July 9, 2018.
Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
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A Conversation with Tommy Barnhart
May 8, 2018 - Radio interview with Tommy Barnhart, President of the National Rural Health Association (NRHA). Discussion includes the work of NRHA, rural health policy, and rural hospital closures, among other things.
Source: Rural Health Leadership Radio
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CMS Drives Patient-Centered Care over Paperwork in Proposals to Modernize Medicare and Reduce Burden
Apr 27, 2018 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed changes to the payment systems for services furnished by a range of medical facilities. The proposed rules for fiscal year 2019 would update Medicare policies and rates for the Skilled Nursing Facilities Prospective Payment System (SNF PPS), Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities Prospective Payment System (IRF PPS), Hospice Wage Index and Payment Rate Update, and Inpatient Psychiatric Facility Prospective Payment System (IPF PPS).
Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
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