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NRHA applauds the Senate passage of SGR repeal

Last night, the Senate passed HR 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, a passed by the House in March that repeals the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) and replace it with a payment system that promotes a higher quality of care. Six amendments were debated and rejected. The bill passed 92-8 with strong bipartisan support. The passage of this bill marks the end of the need for an annual fix to the SGR formula that would have resulted in an over 21 percent decrease in physician reimbursement for caring for Medicare patients. HR 2 includes multiple important programs for rural America. The bill includes a two-year extension of rural Medicare extenders such as 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 bill also extends funding for two years to community health centers, National Health Service Corps and teaching health centers. The National Rural Health Association applauds the inclusion of so many programs of importance to rural America. NRHA is pleased that Congress is hearing our message about the importance of rural health care and the need for robust support of programs targeting rural health care.

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