NEWS AND UPDATES

Have Questions? Submit them to the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

In celebration of National Rural Health Day, the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) is announcing a new email box to answer all your rural health policy questions, including Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance. The new resource email is RuralPolicy@hrsa.gov. Providers, advocates, and stakeholders can use this email to ask questions and get updates on rural healthcare issues. If you would like to be added to the RuralPolicy@hrsa.gov listserv, please send an email with “Subscribe” in the subject line.

Payment Rate Increases for Rural Health Clinics in 2017

The Medicare RHC per-visit upper payment limit for calendar year 2017 is $82.30, effective January 1 through December 31. The calendar year 2017 RHC rate reflects a 1.2% increase from the 2016 payment limit of $81.32. Change Request (CR) 9829 provides MACs instructions for CY 2017 payment rate increases for RHCs. Section 1833(f) of the Social Security Act authorizes that the payment limits for a subsequent year shall be increased in accordance with the rate of increase in the Medicare Economic Index (MEI). Based on historical data, the 2017 MEI is 1.2%. You can read the full MLN Matters on this change here.

Seats Still Available for Midwest Health Care's Billing Training

Seats are still available at Midwest Health Care's upcoming Billing Training Meeting. The training will be held November 17 at the Holiday Inn Columbia East (915 Port Way, Columbia, 65201). The training will include expert presentations on: New RHC Services CPT Coding Requirements MACRA/MIPS Update Medicare RHC October 1 Billing Changes MO HealthNet Managed Care Billing MO HealthNet Wrap Around Requirements You can learn more and register for the meeting here.

Celebrate National Rural Health Day with Educational Webinars

Mark your calendars for National Rural Health Day on November 17! Join the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health in celebrating this day with a series of educational webinars. There will be four free sessions, covering: Clinical Care Improvement (11:00 AM ET) Total Farmer Health (12:00 PM ET) Strategies for Reversing Out-Migration (1:00 PM ET) Using Big Data to Make Small Changes in Population Health (3:00 PM ET) You can learn more and register online here.

Updated RHC Certification Rules

Be sure to check out CMS's updated rule for RHC certification regarding emergency preparedness. The new requirement defines standards for: Emergency plans, which must be updated annually Emergency preparedness testing and training Clinic policies and procedures on shelter, evacuation, and more You can read the full amendment here. Although the rules are “effective” on November 15, 2016, CMS will not be enforce them until November 15, 2017. This will give clinics one year to become compliant with the new requirements.

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