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Rural Health
Resources by Topic: Reimbursement and payment models

Evaluation of the Rural Community Hospital Demonstration: Report Covering 2005-2017 (Interim Report 1)
Provides an overview of the Rural Community Hospital Demonstration (RCHD). Describes the characteristics of RCHD participants that entered the demonstration between 2005-2012, the Medicare payments received under program, and the impact of the RCHD on hospital finances between 2005-2017.
Additional links: Findings at a Glance
Date: 09/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
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MedPAC Comment on CMS's Proposed Rule on Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment Systems and Quality Reporting Programs for CY 2022
Comments on an August 4, 2021, Federal Register proposed rule revising the Medicare Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Medicare Ambulatory Surgical Center (ACS) payment system for calendar year 2022. Includes considerations for Rural Emergency Hospital payments and emergency department staffing requirements.
Date: 09/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Medicare Payment Advisory Commission
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Air Ambulance Use and Surprise Billing
Provides an overview of air ambulance services, including the types and number of air ambulance providers and suppliers, utilization rates by patients, average costs, and the potential for balance billing for air ambulance transport. Summarizes key policies and legislation related to air ambulances, including the No Surprises Act. Presents data on air ambulance utilization by rurality between 2014-2018.
Author(s): Gina Turrini, Joel Ruhter, Andre R. Chappel, Nancy De Lew
Date: 09/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
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MedPAC Comment on CMS's Proposed Rule on the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2022
Comment on a July 23, 2021, Federal Register proposed rule revising the physician fee schedule to improve payment systems for physicians and other Medicare Part B revisions. Includes a discussion of the expansion of telehealth service coverage after the COVID-19 public health emergency, as well as reimbursement rates to Rural Health Clinics and Federally Qualified Health Centers for telehealth mental health services.
Date: 09/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Medicare Payment Advisory Commission
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Medicare Covers a Lower Percentage of Outpatient Costs in Hospitals Located in Rural Areas
Policy brief describing differences in Medicare Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) payments between urban and rural hospitals. Features statistics on OPPS payments as a percent of total net patient revenue, as a percent of Medicare outpatient cost by hospital payment classification, and as a percent of Medicare outpatient cost by number of acute beds, with breakdowns by urban and rural location.
Author(s): Pranathi Sana, George H. Pink
Date: 09/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: North Carolina Rural Health Research Program
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CMS Innovation Center COVID-19 Flexibilities
Shares flexibilities and adjustments to current and future Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) models in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Addresses changes related to financial methodologies, quality reporting, and model timelines.
Additional links: CMS Model Flexibilities Table
Date: 09/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
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COVID-19 Telehealth Coverage Policies
Summary of telehealth services that are covered by various public and private payers related to COVID-19. Includes information on state and federal actions. Updated with new information and new policies as the situation develops.
Additional links: COVID-19 Related State Actions
Date: 09/2021
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: Center for Connected Health Policy: The National Telehealth Policy Resource Center
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Respond to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Clinical management, patient education, and preparedness resources to help family physicians respond to COVID-19. Includes information on vaccination, payment, and telehealth.
Date: 09/2021
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: American Academy of Family Physicians
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Delta Region Community Health Systems Development (DRCHSD) Program: Revenue Cycle Management Best Practices Guide
Offers rural hospital executives and management teams best practice concepts in revenue cycle management by assisting them in identifying performance improvement within their hospitals and departments. Provides State Offices of Rural Health (SORH) directors and Flex Program coordinators a better understanding of the revenue cycle best practices to help them design educational training programs to support rural hospital administrators with performance improvement.
Additional links: Check List
Date: 08/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organizations: BKD CPAs & Advisors, National Rural Health Resource Center
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Evaluation of the Vermont All-Payer Accountable Care Organization Model: First Evaluation Report
Evaluates the first two performance years of the Vermont All-Payer Accountable Care Organization Model (VTAPM), which aims to assess whether scaling an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) across all payers in the state can reduce program expenditures while preserving or improving care quality. Discusses the implementation of the model, provider engagement, efforts to address population health goals; characteristics of participating hospitals, practitioners, and beneficiaries; and the model's impacts on Medicare spending, utilization, and quality of care. Includes information on hospital and provider participation in rural counties and unique challenges for rural Critical Access Hospitals.
Additional links: Findings at a Glance, Technical Appendices
Date: 08/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organizations: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, NORC at the University of Chicago
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