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Rural Health
Resources by Topic: Policy

The Development of Telehealth Laws in the U.S. from 2008 to 2015: A Legal Landscape
Policy brief examining the scope and evolving nature of telehealth statutes and regulations in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Explores the extent to which state laws regulate primary care delivery through use of telehealth. Features U.S. maps showing changes from 2008 to 2015 in terms of various types of telehealth-related laws, including those governing insurance coverage, and statistics with breakdowns by the top 25 and bottom 25 rural states.
Author(s): Cason D. Schmit, Alva O. Ferdinand, Timothy Callaghan, et al.
Date: 11/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Southwest Rural Health Research Center
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Finalized CY 2020 Physician Fee Schedule
Fact sheet describing calendar year 2020 changes to Medicare's telehealth reimbursement policy as a part of the Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) final rule. Includes sections on opioid use disorder treatment services, care management services, chronic care remote physiologic monitoring services, and online digital evaluation service (E-visit).
Date: 11/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Center for Connected Health Policy: The National Telehealth Policy Resource Center
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Rural Hospitals: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
Describes the conditions facing rural hospitals and their communities contributing to the high rate of rural hospital closure. Discusses state and federal legislation, policies, and programs developed to support rural hospitals. Provides data for 15 Southern states including their state and rural populations, percentage of population uninsured, Medicaid expansion status, percentage at high financial risk, and number of rural hospital closures.
Author(s): Nick Bowman
Date: 11/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Southern Legislative Conference of The Council of State Governments
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Subcommittee on Health Oversight Hearing: Native Veterans' Access to Healthcare
Discusses the current state of healthcare access for Native American veterans. Features testimonies from representatives from the National Indian Health Board, the National Congress of American Indians, and the Alaska Native Health Board, among others.
Additional links: Witness Testimonies
Date: 10/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: House Veterans' Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Health
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SORH Response to the National Substance Use Disorder Crisis
Looks at the role of State Offices of Rural Health (SORHs) in state-level substance use disorder and opioid use disorder initiatives. Highlights the activities of SORHs in several states as case studies and details the lessons learned in those states.
Date: 10/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health
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State Telehealth Laws & Reimbursement Policies
Summary of telehealth-related policies, laws, and regulations for the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Focuses on Medicaid fee-for-service policies and includes the most recent policy language in each state as of September 2019.
Additional links: Infographic, Interactive Map - Current State Laws & Reimbursement Policies, Interactive Map - Legislation and Regulation Tracking
Date: 10/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Center for Connected Health Policy: The National Telehealth Policy Resource Center
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A View from the States: Key Medicaid Policy Changes: Results from a 50-State Medicaid Budget Survey for State Fiscal Years 2019 and 2020
Report examines changes taking place in Medicaid programs in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Features sections on eligibility, delivery systems, benefits, long-term services and supports, and provider rates and taxes. Full report includes a section on rural payment adjustments.
Author(s): Kathleen Gifford, Eileen Ellis, Aimee Lashbrook, et al.
Date: 10/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Kaiser Family Foundation
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Broadband Data and Mapping: Background and Issues for the 116th Congress
Explores policy issues and challenges related to high-speed internet access, including federal agency roles in broadband mapping. Includes a section comparing urban and rural areas in terms of access to telecommunications and information technologies.
Author(s): Colby Leigh Rachfal
Date: 10/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Congressional Research Service
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Estimate of Federal Payment Reductions to Hospitals Following the ACA: 2010-2029: Estimates and Methodology
Estimates the reduction in Medicare hospital payments due to sequestration from 2010 to 2019, not including reductions enacted under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Demonstrates how other legislative acts and regulatory changes by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reduced federal payments to hospitals over the same period. Highlights how reductions in Medicare payments for bad debt impacted Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs).
Date: 10/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organizations: American Hospital Association, Federation of American Hospitals
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Medicare Payment Basics: Skilled Nursing Facility Services Payment System
Overview of Medicare payments for skilled nursing and rehabilitation services and discusses changes to the payment rates as of October, 2019 based on components of care. Describes what constitutes a skilled nursing facility and how with CMS approval small, rural hospitals and critical access hospitals may be used to provide these services. Compares Medicare daily base rates for urban and rural skilled nursing facilities.
Date: 10/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Medicare Payment Advisory Commission
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