House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) and member Adrian Smith (R-Neb.) yesterday urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to take AHA-supported action to continue to provide regulatory relief for rural providers. Specifically, they urged CMS to permanently remove the direct supervision requirement for outpatient therapy services at rural hospitals, and continue to deprioritize enforcement of the 96-hour rule for critical access hospitals. They also urged the agency to release flexible guidelines regarding co-location arrangements; clarify star ratings and tailor measures for rural hospitals on the Hospital Compare website; and work with the committee to update the rules governing rural health clinics.
 
AHA supports legislation to make permanent the enforcement moratorium on CMS’s direct supervision policy for outpatient therapeutic services provided in CAHs and small, rural hospitals, and permanently remove the 96-hour physician certification requirement as a condition of payment for CAHs. It also has urged CMS to clarify its rules regarding co-location arrangements to allow rural hospitals to partner with other providers to offer a broader range of services.