Last month the NOSORH Policy Committee worked with Capitol Associates to develop a letter to Secretary Burwell to ensure SORHs are included as possible contractors for a $29 million fund that will provide for education of rural providers on alternative payment reform.  NOSORH is continuing its effort to grow the SORH line appropriation. Reports from the House Labor HHS budget mark up are not optimistic. Your help is needed.

The SORH line in the House appropriations draft is $9,511,000 again the same as FY 2015.  According to Bill Finerfrock, NOSORH Legislative Liaison, it is highly likely that the Labor-HHS appropriations bill will be funded via a Continuing Resolution rather than a new appropriations bill.  The funding levels for several programs in the House and Senate versions were below the President’s request and language defunding some key components of the ACA were included in the Appropriations bills.  If that language remains in the bills (likely) then it is highly likely that the President would be veto any appropriations with language defunding the ACA.

Additionally the Policy Program Monitoring Team will be reviewing comments to Secretary Burwell in implementing payment reform in rural areas on their July 1 call. To share thoughts or examples from your state email Harvey Licht.

The Rural Emergency Acute Care Hospital Act of 2015 (S.1648) was introduced on June 23rd by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) to establish a new Medicare payment designation, the Rural Emergency Hospital, to sustain emergency services in rural communities.  This is a new model of rural health care to provide rural hospitals and communities a path forward to provide local care.  Stay tuned to NRHA for further updates.

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