The Policy Program Monitoring Team (PPMT) Committee was established in 2011 to bring together NOSORH members, who were at the time, involved as co-chairs of the HIT, workforce and Flex committees. The intent of the PPMT committee is to explore hot topics, and determine if:
- It has a policy focus, which is then referred to the Policy committee;
- It is something to be shared with NOSORH membership via a webinar, which is then facilitated through the Education Committee; or
- It requires further work, which then may need to be done by establishing an ad hoc group to do a deeper dive, such as the Rural Integrated Service System (RISS) work group.
According to co-chair Lynette Dickson, “Serving on this committee, has allowed me the opportunity to be informed on current issues, that may or may not impact my state specifically, but allows us to determine how to best keep our members informed on a topic that they may not have the time or resources to investigate themselves.”
Among the topics reviewed in the PPMT were the following:
- Implementation of the Medicare Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (MHRRP) and its impact on rural hospitals. This topic became the focus of a webinar and a session at the NOSORH annual meeting. Each state received a profile of the MHRRP impact on its rural hospitals.
- Implementation of the Medicare Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program (HVBPP) and its impact on rural hospitals. This topic also was the focus of a webinar. States received profiles of the impact of HVBPP on rural hospitals.
- Frontier and Remote (FAR) area designations as proposed by ORHP/USDA. The different iterations of this designation were monitored, with emphasis on the potential impact on currently designated frontier areas. The review of this topic led to NOSORH co-sponsorship of several briefing sessions on the topic for a broad audience.
- Urban/Rural Premium Levels of Qualified Health Plans. This comparison became the basis of an information briefing for NOSORH members.
- Review of Essential Community Provider (ECP) requirements for Qualified Health Plans. This review explored the potential impact of CMS ECP rules on how rural ECPs. Possible questions for NOSORH comment were forwarded to the Policy Committee.
- In March 2015, the PPMT hosted a webinar on health system reform with participation from a variety of interest rural health partners. Click here to view the recording. NOSORH Executive Director, Teryl Eisinger, referred to this webinar as a “great discussion with valuable sharing by all who participated.”
The PPMT is supported by Harvey Licht of Varela Consulting. Mr. Licht provides the invaluable education on these issues of importance to SORHs.