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Rural Health Policy – News

News stories from the past 60 days.

May 12, 2020 - Pre-publication 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. This notice will be published in the Federal Register on May 29, 2020.
Source: Federal Register
May 8, 2020 - Notice of interim final rule with comment period from the Health Resources and Services Administrations and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services giving flexibility to those providing services to Medicare, Medicaid, Basic Health Program, and Exchange beneficiaries in order to respond effectively to the COVID-19 pandemic. Provides a table outlining flexibilities and the dates in which they are applicable, including those for providers and facilities in rural areas. This interim rule is effective May 8, 2020 and comments are due July 7, 2020.
Source: Federal Register
May 7, 2020 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the final Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for the 2021 benefit year, which contains several provisions intended to promote affordable insurance coverage and improve consumer access to affordable coverage. CMS also announced a one week extension of the Qualified Health Plan (QHP) certification and rate review timelines, allowing issuers and states to assess data around the effects of COVID-19 and establish accurate premium rates.
Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
May 1, 2020 - Notice of final rule from the Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services designed to promote interoperability and access to information to inform individuals' healthcare decisions, including data about healthcare prices and outcomes. The regulations in this rule will be effective June 30, 2020.
Source: Federal Register
May 1, 2020 - Notice of final rule from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) implementing several provisions of the 21st Century Cures Act, including health information technology developer certification requirements, provisions to support interoperability, reasonable and necessary activities that do not constitute information blocking, and more. This rule is effective June 30, 2020.
Source: Federal Register
Apr 30, 2020 - Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is extending the deadline for comments and recommendations on its intent to create the HRSA Tribal Advisory Council (TAC), as well as nominations of tribal officials for consideration as voluntary delegates to serve on the HRSA TAC. The new deadline is July 6, 2020.
Source: Federal Register
Apr 24, 2020 - Notice of proposed rule amending the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) civil money penalty (CMP) rules to incorporate new authorities for CMPs, assessments, and exclusions related to HHS grants and contracts; incorporate new CMP authorities for information blocking; and increase the maximum penalties for certain CMP violations. Comments on this proposed rule are due by June 23, 2020.
Source: Federal Register
Apr 21, 2020 - The Bipartisan Policy Center's (BPC) Rural Health Task Force released a report recommending actions to improve rural healthcare. Key policy recommendations include providing financial relief to hospitals, allowing hospitals to transform from full-service to outpatient and emergency care centers, enhancing value-based care, reimbursing hospitals for obstetric care, expanding telehealth, and incentivizing clinicians who stay in rural areas.
Source: Bipartisan Policy Center
Apr 6, 2020 - Notice of interim final rule with comment period from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to create broad flexibilities for healthcare facilities and providers so that they can adequately provide services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Includes details about changes to payment policies and regulations for a variety of services. The regulations are applicable beginning March 1, 2020 and comments will be accepted through June 1, 2020.
Source: Federal Register
Apr 6, 2020 - Outlines changes that the Health Resources and Services Administration is making changes within the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) to establish the Rural Strategic Initiatives Division and update the functional statement for FORHP.
Source: Federal Register

Last Updated: 5/12/2020