Tomorrow is National Rural Health Day. There is no better time for the nation’s nearly 2,000 small and rural hospitals to join the AHA in thanking our rural health champions in Congress. We depend on our rural health allies in Congress for their commitment to America’s rural hospitals and the communities and patients they serve.


A great way for hospitals and health systems to say thank you is to let them know on social media. At the AHA, we engage with lawmakers digitally so they know how we feel about legislation and to thank them for their support.


Tomorrow we will be sending a message - “Protect rural health care.”  Below are some graphics that your hospital can use on Facebook or Twitter. More graphics and sample messages can be found here.  Use these messages on your organization’s Facebook or Twitter page and tag your member of Congress, and make sure you include #RuralHealth with the message. You can find out who your members of Congress are here and here.


Help us spread the word that congressional support of rural health is essential to protecting access to care for rural communities. Let Congress know they can help us by:


  • Removing the Medicare 96-hour condition of payment for critical access hospitals (H.R.169);
  • Ensuring the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) reverts to a default standard for general supervision for outpatient therapeutic services for rural hospitals and critical access hospitals (H.R. 1611);
  • Extending through 2015 the enforcement moratorium on CMS’s direct supervision policy for outpatient therapeutic services in critical access and small, rural hospitals (H.R. 2878);
  • Promoting more appropriate and accurate behavior by Recovery Audit Contractors and thereby reducing the administrative and financial burden on hospitals (H.R. 2156);
  • Maintaining the extension of the 340B drug pricing program and opposing any efforts to scale back this vital program;
  • Asking CMS to use its regulatory authority to delay moving forward with Stage 3 of the Meaningful Use Program until Stage 2 is successful;
  • Extending the Rural Community Hospital Demonstration Program, which allows rural hospitals with fewer than 51 acute beds to test the feasibility of cost-based reimbursement (H.R. 672);
  • Adjusting the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program for sociodemographic factors so that hospitals are not financially penalized for factors outside of their control (H.R.1343); and
  • Making permanent the Medicare extenders that expire in 2017 (H.R. 663, H.R. 745)


Again, let Congress hear your voice by posting one of these graphics on your Facebook or Twitter site. You can find more messages and graphics here



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Improving rural health is an AHA priority because we truly cannot advance health in America without keeping our rural communities strong.