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Rural Health
Resources by Topic: Legislation and regulations

Distribution of Disproportionate Share Hospital Payments to Rural and Critical Access Hospitals
Information concerning potential effects of Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payment on rural hospitals in 47 states. Features statistics on hospital Medicaid DSH payments by census region, with breakdowns by urban, rural, and Critical Access Hospitals.
Author(s): Erin M. Mobley, Fred Ullrich, Keith J. Mueller
Date: 11/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
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Telehealth Services Proposed for Medicare Part B Reimbursements, 2018: Fact Sheet
Identifies the five conditions that a telehealth service must meet in order to be covered by Medicare Part B, provides an overview of how telehealth services get added to Medicare's reimbursable list, and outlines proposed services that may be added for calendar year 2018.
Date: 11/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Congressional Research Service
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State Telehealth Laws and Reimbursement Policies
Provides a summary of telehealth-related laws and reimbursement policies for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, using policy language available in each state as of October 2017. The primary focus of the report is on Medicaid coverage for telehealth services but also includes references to state policies that require private insurer payment for the service. Interactive map allows results to be narrowed by state.
Additional links: 50 State Scan of Telehealth Reimbursement Laws and Medicaid Policies Factsheet, Interactive Map, State Telehealth Laws and Medicaid Program Policies Infographic
Date: 11/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Center for Connected Health Policy (National Telehealth Policy Resource Center)
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The Opioid Epidemic and Federal Efforts to Address It: Frequently Asked Questions
Provides an overview of America's opioid problem, including information on abuse and supply, and discusses federal agencies and programs that address opioid abuse. Also discusses recent federal legislation and state-level policies that seek to combat the opioid problem.
Date: 10/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Congressional Research Service
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National Disability Policy: A Progress Report
Reports on the state of disability policy in key areas, examining the intersection between disability and poverty. Focuses on education, employment, financial assistance and incentives, healthcare, long-term services and supports, transportation, and housing, as factors enhancing economic independence among people with disabilities. Includes sections on barriers related to finding transportation and appropriate housing in rural areas.
Date: 10/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Council on Disability
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Regulatory Overload: Assessing the Regulatory Burden On Health Systems, Hospitals And Post-Acute Care Providers
Discusses the level, impact, and opportunities to reduce regulatory burden on healthcare systems and offers recommendations for immediate relief. Assesses the impact across nine domains: quality reporting, new models of care/value-based payment, meaningful use of electronic health records, hospital conditions of participation, program integrity, fraud and abuse, privacy and security, post-acute care, and billing and coverage verification requirements. Page 21 discusses the disproportionate impact of fraud and abuse laws on rural providers.
Additional links: Executive Summary, Infographic: Federal Agencies with Regulatory or Oversight Authority Impacting Hospitals, Infographic: Regulatory Burden Overwhelming Providers, Diverting Clinicians from Patient Care
Date: 10/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: American Hospital Association
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Medicare Payment Basics: Outpatient Dialysis Services Payment System
Provides an overview of how Medicare pays for the outpatient dialysis services of beneficiaries with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Includes information about the facility-level rural adjustment.
Date: 10/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Medicare Payment Advisory Commission
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Medicare Payment Basics: Skilled Nursing Facility Services Payment System
Provides an overview of Medicare payments for skilled nursing facility services. Discusses rates for small, rural hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals.
Date: 10/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Medicare Payment Advisory Commission
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Medicare Payment Basics: Physician and Other Health Professional Payment System
Presents an overview of Medicare payments for physician services conducted in a variety of settings including physicians’ offices, hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, skilled nursing facilities and other post-acute care settings, hospices, outpatient dialysis facilities, clinical laboratories, and beneficiaries’ homes.
Date: 10/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Medicare Payment Advisory Commission
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Medicare Payment Basics: Medicare Advantage Program Payment System
Presents an overview of Medicare payments to Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. Includes information on Medicare Advantage regions.
Date: 10/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Medicare Payment Advisory Commission
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