House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA) today announced a bipartisan agreement to extend certain expiring Medicare provisions for rural and other providers. The proposal would extend the Medicare-Dependent Hospital and Low-Volume Adjustment programs for two years; extend add-on payments for ground ambulance and home health services for five years; repeal the annual Medicare limit on per-patient therapy expenditures; reauthorize special needs plans for five years; and extend the physician geographic payment cost index and funding for consensus-based quality entity work for two years. It also would extend State Health Insurance Assistance Programs for two years. In addition, the proposal includes a number of payment offsets, including modifications to payments for critical access hospital swing beds. “The AHA appreciates the work of Chairman Brady and Ranking Member Neal to address the needs of seniors, and supports the straight extensions of the Medicare Dependent Hospital and Low-Volume Adjustment programs,” said AHA Executive Vice President Tom Nickels. “However, the proposed changes to the CAH swing bed payments should be removed as the legislation moves forward. CAHs are often the only source of health care in their communities, and swing bed services allow seniors to stay close to home to receive care, rather than being transferred to another facility. This is the time when Congress should be looking to stabilize access to care, rather than reducing payments for critical health care services in our most vulnerable rural communities.”

Related News Articles

Headline
Rural Americans live an average 10.5 miles or 17 minutes from the nearest hospital, according to a new analysis by the Pew Research Center.
Headline
Congress yesterday passed a farm bill conference report that authorizes assistance for rural hospitals to refinance a debt obligation as an eligible loan or…
Headline
The AHA will present its 2018 Rural Hospital Leadership Award to Ronnie Sloan, president of The Outer Banks Hospital in Nags Head, N.C., at its Rural Health…
Headline
Republican members of the House Ways and Means Committee yesterday introduced legislation to repeal the 96-hour physician certification requirement as a…
Headline
The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission this week discussed several draft recommendations for Congress, which the panel could vote on in January.
Headline
AHA today urged the Department of Homeland Security to withdraw a proposed rule that could limit legal immigrants’ future immigration status if they receive…