Sens. John Thune, R-S.D., and Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., today introduced the Rural Hospital Regulatory Relief Act (S. 895), AHA-supported legislation that would permanently extend the enforcement moratorium on direct supervision requirements for outpatient therapeutic services provided in critical access hospitals and small, rural hospitals. “Your legislation would provide immediate and permanent regulatory relief to small, rural hospitals and ensure these communities will continue to have access to outpatient therapeutic services,” AHA said in a letter of support. “As you know, these services have always been provided by licensed, skilled professionals under the overall supervision of a physician and with the assurance of rapid assistance from a team of caregivers, including a physician. While hospitals recognize the need for direct supervision for certain outpatient services that pose a high risk or are very complex, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services policy generally applies to even the lowest risk services.”

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