fah hospital policy blog

Perspectives on health policy affecting America’s hospitals and the patients we serve.

Category Archives: rural

Mayors Urge Congress to Restore Hospital Funding in ACA Repeal

February 08, 2017 | FAH Policy Blog Team

Category: Affordable Care Act, Medicare, Rural

The Mayors of five Arizona cities recently penned an op-ed that contained a simple message for those in Washington – ACA repeal must also restore Medicare funding for hospitals. “Cutting Medicare years ago hurt hospitals. Not restoring that funding now would be disastrous for cities and patients,” the mayors of Scottsdale, Mesa, Yuma, Prescott and Chandler wrote in the Arizona Republic. The op-ed lays out the importance of hospitals in each of their communities – from the impact on jobs and the economy to the vital care they provide to patients.

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ICYMI: Arizona Governor Op-Ed Urges Congress to Protect Rural Care in any ACA Repeal by Restoring Hospital Medicare Cuts

January 23, 2017 | FAH Policy Blog Team

Category: Affordable Care Act, Financing, Health Care Delivery, Legislation, Rural

Republican Arizona Governor Doug Ducey recently penned an op-ed that appeared in The Daily Courier in Prescott and the Camp Verde Bugle entitled - Rural health care a critical component of reform.

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A Unique & Critical Role for Medicare Policy in Rural Communities

July 28, 2015 | FAH Hospital Policy Blog Team

Category: Medicare, Rural

This morning, the House Ways and Means Committee Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing on the health care disparities created by Medicare in rural communities.This year, America’s hospitals celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Medicare and Medicaid programs. These two programs have had a significant impact on access to quality medical care, especially to the more than 60 million Americans who live in rural regions across the country. A disproportionate number of rural patients rely on Medicare or Medicaid and many, known as dual eligible patients, rely on both programs to meet their health care needs.

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FAH Praises Reintroduction of “Rural Hospital Access Act of 2015”

February 03, 2015 | FAH Hospital Policy Blog Team

Category: Legislation, Rural

Yesterday, Congressmen Tom Reed (R-NY) and Peter Welch (D-VT) and Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) reintroduced the “Rural Hospital Access Act of 2015,” H.R.663 and S.332 respectively, permanent extensions to two expiring supplemental Medicare funding programs that enable rural hospitals to provide vital health care services to millions of people in rural communities.

These two programs are the Medicare Dependent Hospital (MDH) program and the Low-Volume Hospital Adjustment (LVH) program:

The MDH program protects rural hospitals with a disproportionate Medicare caseload of greater than 60% and which have little other revenue recourse to defray any budgetary shortfall.

The LVH program recognizes that certain hospitals are more isolated than others. It provides a sliding scale payment adjustment to help these hospitals, which simply do not have the volume to achieve savings from economies of scale.

Funding for both programs is set to expire after March 31, 2015. A permanent extension of both programs is imperative for rural hospitals to continue to provide care to the more than 60 million patients that depend upon them for their health care.

Rural hospitals provide a stable and steady place of care for millions of residents in isolated areas. 20% of the population lives in rural communities, but they are spread over 95% of the country geographically. Rural hospitals are often the largest employer in a community, and serve as drivers of the local economy. Without local community hospitals in rural areas, patients would have to travel a great distance to receive care and local economies would be impacted by the loss of jobs, innovation and stability. When these hospitals close, the effect radiates.

FAH applauds Congressmen Tom Reed (R-NY) and Peter Welch (D-VT) and Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Chuck Schumer (R-NY) for their leadership and their efforts to protect rural hospitals and the critical care they provide for communities across the nation. We urge lawmakers to prioritize the health care needs of countless rural residents the Rural Hospital Access Act of 2015 would help as they consider the looming deadline of these important programs. It is time for Congress to make a permanent commitment to rural communities.

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