Senate to vote tonight on SGR

Now that the House has passed the one-year SGR patch, the Senate is scheduled to vote on the 12-month patch around 5 p.m. tonight. While NRHA is appreciative of the work done on the temporary patch, with the inclusion of many rural Medicare extenders, we continue to push for a full repeal of the SGR and a permanent extension of all rural extenders. NRHA urges members of Congress to extend the Low-Volume Hospital adjustment, the Medicare Dependent Hospital, the work geographic index floor under the Medicare physician fee schedule, the current rural ambulance payments and the exceptions process for Medicare therapy caps. Rural America faces significant barriers in providing access to health care, including higher percentages of Medicare beneficiaries, under-insured, and self-payer patients than their urban counterparts.  In recognition of these challenges, Congress has enacted a number of programs that help rural providers meet their distinct challenges.  However, these Medicare extenders that are critical to the rural health safety net were not made permanent.  Without the permanency of these programs, many rural hospitals will have to close their doors. For more information on these important Medicare extenders visit NRHA’s Congressional Action Kit.

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