On Monday the Senate passed a 12-month delay of cuts scheduled to take affect under the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR). In addition to the delay of these cuts, the bill (H.R. 3402) would extend the Medicare Dependent Hospital Program, Low-Volume Hospital adjustment, current rural and “super-rural” ambulance payment rates, and the rural “work floor” in the geographic practice cost index. The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) is appreciative of efforts made to extend these programs permanently in the Senate as well as the one year extension of the programs.
Update from the National Rural Health Association on HR 3402
NRHA also sought to include regulatory relief as part of this bill, including addressing issues with the 96-hour condition of payment rule currently experienced by Critical Access Hospitals as well as mandating that supervision levels for outpatient therapy services be reverted to a level of “general.” While these issues were not included in the package passed Monday, NRHA will continue to advance these efforts through NRHA-supported legislation that has already been introduced in both the House and Senate.