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Senators Question Secretary-Designate Burwell on Rural Health

Several Senators raised concerns with HHS treatment of rural hospitals during today's hearing in the Senate Finance Committee. Senators Roberts, Warner, and others brought up the challenges that all rural hospitals face with Recovery Audit Contractors (RACs) and the delays in the appeals process that all hospitals are experiencing.  Senators Roberts and Warner specifically pointed to the challenges that these audits and the appeals delays present for small rural hospitals. In addition to the concerns about RACs, Senator Roberts also raised his concerns with the 96-hour payment rule for Critical Access Hospitals. Secretary-Designate Burwell committed to working with the Finance Committee, CMS, and stakeholders to address this problematic issue.  Secretary-Designate Burwell commented on her own rural background and noted that she would be committed to the long-term sustainability of all Critical Access Hospitals.  NRHA thanks Senator Roberts, Senator Warner, and the other Senators for their commitment to rural health care.  We also appreciate Secretary-Designate Burwell's commitment to sustaining Critical Access Hospitals moving forward. For more information on the hearing or to hear a recording of the full hearing, please click here.  

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