WASHINGTON (May 7, 2018) – Today, the American Hospital Association (AHA) commended the introduction of the Rural Emergency Medical Center (REMC) Act of 2018 (H.R. 5678) by Representatives Lynn Jenkins (R-KS), Ron Kind (D-WI) and Terri Sewell (D-AL). This bipartisan legislation would help ensure patients in rural communities maintain access to essential emergency and outpatient services by establishing a new rural facility designation under the Medicare program, allowing facilities meeting certain requirements to provide 24/7 emergency department care and other outpatient services. REMCs would be required to have established protocols to transport patients to an inpatient hospital if needed.
“The AHA applauds the introduction of the Rural Emergency Medical Center Act of 2018, and will work with Representatives Jenkins, Kind and Sewell to advance this important bipartisan policy to help stabilize access to health care in rural communities,” said Tom Nickels, Executive Vice President of the AHA. “The REMC Act is an important step toward ‘right-sizing’ the health care infrastructure in certain vulnerable communities and ensuring patient access to care: it aligns services and reimbursement with the unique circumstances of providing care in rural communities.”
The AHA’s Task Force on Ensuring Access in Vulnerable Communities issued its report in 2016, recommending Congress establish new models of care to provide vulnerable communities with options to protect and stabilize access to health care services. One of those recommendations was an emergency medical center model that would allow hospitals to continue to meet the needs of their community for emergency and outpatient services, while providing transportation to higher acuity facilities when needed. The REMC Act aligns with this recommendation.
More information about this legislation, REMCs and why this new designation is needed can be found HERE.
Contact: Marie Johnson, (202) 626-2351
Colin Milligan, (202) 638-5491
About the American Hospital Association
The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the improvement of health in their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks and other providers of care. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit www.aha.org.