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Senate Passes Two-Month Medicare Extender Legislation

The Senate passed a modified Medicare extender bill early Saturday morning that includes a number of expiring rural health provisions.  The legislation extends, for a two-month period, the outpatient hold harmless extension, Medicare Section 508 reclassification, reimbursement increases for ambulance services, rural mental health add-ons, extension of therapy cap exemptions and an update for the sustainable growth rate within the physician fee schedule. A full copy of the legislation can be found through the Modern Healthcare link below. While NRHA commends the Senate for acting to preserve these vital programs, we urge Congress as a whole to take steps to make these vital programs permanent.  Many rural facilities depend on these programs and a permanent extension of these payment methodologies and programs will provide them with stability and certainty in the future. Read more: http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20111217/NEWS/312179947#ixzz1goIXVF2e  and http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1211/70587.html

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