There are approximately 4,100 Rural Health Clinics operating in the U.S and are heavily dependent on Medicare. Senators John Barrasso (R-WY) https://www.barrasso.senate.gov and Tina Smith (D-MN) https://smith.senate.gov recently introduced the bipartisan “Rural Health Clinic Modernization Act” (S.1037) to provide regulatory relief for Rural Health Clinics while also improving reimbursements for the rural facilities.
The “Rural Health Clinic Modernization Act” would
- Update the use of advanced practice clinicians by Rural Health Clinics and bring the statue up to date with current state laws
- Update the statute regarding laboratory requirement and the delivery of telehealth services
- Increase reimbursements for Rural Health Clinics. Currently, Rural Health Clinics are paid an all-inclusive rate for the care they provide. This rate has not been legislatively updated since 1988
- Enable more physician assistants and nurse practitioners to provide care in the clinics
Nathan Baugh, Director of Government Affairs for the National Association Rural Health Clinics https://narhc.org said, “There is more work to be done. We need to rally cosponsors in the Senate, get an identical bill introduced in the House, build a bipartisan coalition of cosponsors in the House, and obtain grass root support for the RHC Modernization Act if we are going to have any chance of getting Congress to sign the Act into law.”