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Rural Hospitals – News

News stories from the past 60 days.

Jun 1, 2020 - Provides an overview of a recent Health Affairs study that found profit margins decreased over a six-year period for all rural hospital types except nonprofit Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs). Findings also conclude that rural hospitals were outperformed by urban hospitals in median margin, median occupancy rate, and median change markup.
Source: Healthcare Leaders Media
May 29, 2020 - Notice of proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regarding changes to the hospital inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) for operating and capital-related costs of acute care hospitals for fiscal year 2021. Includes details of changes impacting Critical Access Hospital (CAH), Medicare graduate medical education for teaching hospitals, and inpatient hospital services provided by long-term care hospitals, among other things. Comments on the proposed rule are due by July 10, 2020.
Source: Federal Register
May 13, 2020 - Describes how the COVID-19 threat is growing in rural areas, including concerns about the older and sicker population that tends to reside in rural communities. Discusses where the virus may be transmitted in small towns, challenges associated with testing and contact tracing, and the struggles of rural hospitals.
Source: U.S. News & World Report
Apr 29, 2020 - The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) announced the 20 highest-ranked Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs), as determined by the Chartis Center for Rural Health. The determining factors were based on results of the Hospital Strength Index and its eight performance indicators; includes a list of forty "best practice" facilities as well.
Source: National Rural Health Association
Apr 28, 2020 - Notice of interim final rule and comment request from the Small Business Administration related to applications submitted under the Paycheck Protection Program through June 30, 2020, or until funds are exhausted. Provides clarification on loan eligibility for hospitals owned by governmental entities, among other things. The interim final rule is effective on April 28, 2020. Comments are due by May 28, 2020.
Source: Federal Register
Apr 21, 2020 - Notice of a proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services seeking comments on updates to the prospective payment system for inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs) for fiscal year 2021. Among other things, this proposed rule would adopt the most recent Office of Management and Budget (OMB) statistical area delineations, with a 5% cap on wage index decreases; removes the post-admission physician evaluation requirement; and allows non-physician practitioners to perform certain IRF coverage requirements that are currently required to be performed by a rehabilitation physician. Comments are due by June 15, 2020.
Source: Federal Register
Apr 15, 2020 - Notice of a proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services seeking comments on updates to the prospective payment system (PPS) for skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) for fiscal year 2021. Includes proposals to make changes to the case-mix classification code mappings used under the SNF PPS, adopt the most recent Office of Management and Budget (OMB) statistical area delineations, and changes to the SNF value-based purchasing (VBP) program. Includes rural considerations throughout. Comments are due by June 9, 2020.
Source: Federal Register
Apr 8, 2020 - Summarizes an analysis conducted before the coronavirus outbreak, that found a quarter of rural hospitals are at high risk of closing due to financial challenges. Describes how the migration of patients to care options outside the community has contributed to the situation, includes advice for rural hospitals to partner with other regional health systems and their communities.
Source: Guidehouse

Last Updated: 6/2/2020