As the nation celebrates National Rural Health Day, the AHA Stat blog looks at the AHA’s legislative priorities for rural hospitals during the “lame duck” Congress. These include final passage of a five-year extension of the Rural Community Hospital demonstration program, and a calendar year 2016 enforcement moratorium on the “direct supervision” policy for outpatient therapeutic services provided in critical access hospitals and certain small, rural hospitals. “We are also looking forward to the release of the AHA Task Force on Ensuring Access in Vulnerable Communities report later this month, which will provide strategies for rural communities to preserve access to essential health care services,” writes Erik Rasmussen, AHA vice president for legislative affairs. “After its release, the AHA will work with Congress to introduce and pass legislation that will enable key recommendations contained in the report to be implemented.”

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