Hospital leaders today urged the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies to eliminate unnecessary regulatory burdens and support federal programs critical to maintaining access to care in rural communities. Testifying at the hearing were rural hospital leaders from Missouri, Mississippi, Washington state and Kansas, as well as officials from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and Health Resources and Services Administration. Echoing the hospital leaders’ concerns in a statement submitted for the record, AHA urged Congress to support legislation to prevent CMS from enforcing a Medicare condition of payment for critical access hospitals that requires a physician to certify that a beneficiary may reasonably be expected to be discharged or transferred to another hospital within 96 hours; legislation to adopt a default standard of “general supervision” for outpatient therapeutic services furnished in CAHs and small rural hospitals with 100 or fewer beds; legislation to improve the efficiency and fairness of the Medicare Recovery Audit Contractor Program and how RACs are paid; and legislation to extend the Medicare Rural Community Hospital Demonstration Program. In addition, AHA urged Congress to make permanent the Medicare-Dependent Hospital Program, Medicare low-volume adjustment and ambulance add-on payments; and support funding for telehealth opportunities and programs that improve access to health care for rural communities.