Senators introduce rural health care bill

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

WASHINGTON, May 22, 2014-- Senators Pat Roberts, (R-Kans.), Al Franken (D-MN), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) introduced  a rural health care bill today that makes changes to Medicare regulations for rural hospitals and providers.

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S. 2359, the Craig Thomas Rural Hospital and Provider Equity Act (R-HoPE), includes a provision to end Medicare's 96 hour rule requiring a physician in a Critical Access Hospital to certify upon admission that each patient will be discharged or transferred in less than 96 hours.

“The R-HoPE Act recognizes that rural health care providers have very different needs than their urban counterparts and that health care is not one-size-fits-all,” said Roberts, co-chair of the Senate Rural Health Caucus.

The legislation also intends to bring Medicare's hospital payments for rural hospitals in line with urban facilities and provides additional assistance for small, rural hospitals that have a low-volume of patients.


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