• Home
  • Blogs
  • Rural Medicare extenders to expire next week

Rural Medicare extenders to expire next week

Today, the House released HR 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, which includes important rural provisions. This bipartisan bill will repeal Medicare's Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) and replace it with a payment system that promotes a higher quality of care, developed as a result of bipartisan, bicameral agreement. It extends important rural Medicare extenders and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for two years. The House is expected to vote on H.R. 2 this week. In the past 12 years, Congress has passed 17 temporary patches of the SGR. And again, without congressional action by March 31, the SGR will slash physician payments by nearly 22 percent. A number of important Medicare extenders will also expire March 31 if Congress doesn't act soon. Of particular concern for rural providers are the Low-Volume Hospital adjustments, Medicare-Dependent Hospital program, work geographic index floor under the Medicare physician fee schedule, current rural and super-rural ambulance add-on payments, and exceptions process for Medicare therapy caps. The National Rural Health Association has been actively working with Congress to ensure these important Medicare extenders are included in legislation related to the SGR. The legislation released today extends these vital rural programs for two years. This extension is in line with the CHIP extension, providing an important legislative vehicle for future extensions. The bill also extends funding for two years to Community Health Centers, National Health Service Cops, and Teaching Health Centers. Clearly, Congress has heard NRHA's message. But the work isn't finished yet. Contact your member of Congress today. Let them know just how important these programs are for health care in rural America. Tell Congress to act before the March 31 deadline to pass HR 2. And join NRHA for a grassroots advocacy webinar on HR 2 and more at 11 a.m. CDT Wednesday, March 25. And register today to learn more about emerging issues in rural Medicare policy at NRHA's 38th Annual Rural Health Conference in Philadelphia.

This website uses cookies. By accepting the use of cookies, this message will close and you will receive the optimal website experience. For more information on our cookie policy, please visit our Privacy Policy