The Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) https://bipartisanpolicy.org Rural Health Task Force discussed their ideas and recommendations on how to stabilize rural hospitals and clinics in the report “Confronting Rural America’s Health Care Crisis” presented at a webinar held in April.
Bill Hoagland Senior Vice President, BPC introduced pre-recorded comments from Senator Church Grassley R-IA, Representative Xociti Torres Small D-NM, and Senator Bill Cassidy M.D, U.S Senator R-LA.
Participants at the Webinar moderated by Marilyn Serafini, Director of Health Project for the BPC, included:
- Tom Daschle, Co-Chair, Former Senate Majority Leader, Co-Founder of BPC, and Co-Chair of the Task Force
- Olympia Snowe, Co-Chair, and Former U.S Senator, Senior Fellow, BPC,
- Tom Tauke, Former U.S Representative from Iowa
- Gail Wilensky, Former Administrator Health Care Financing Administration (now CMS), Senior Fellow, Project HOPE
- Chris Jennings, Founder and President, Jennings Policy Strategies, Fellow, BPC.
The Rural Health Task Force recommendations in the report include:
- Provide immediate financial relief to hospitals for 3 years. Perform a comprehensive community needs assessment, allow rural hospitals to transform from full service hospitals to outpatient and emergency care centers and be able to choose different payment methods
- Reimburse rural hospitals for obstetric care in shortage areas at national median commercial rates, increase education funds to equip primary care clinicians with skills in prenatal and maternal services
- Expand telehealth services and drop the temporary status of waivers on point-of-care, make services permanent, and enable clinicians to treat patients across state lines. Expand broadband, collect accurate broadband data in rural and tribal areas, and improve data collection standards
- Incentivize clinicians to stay in rural areas by providing federal tax credits to encourage rural physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners to stay in rural communities, expand J-1 visas from 30 to 50 to allow international medical graduates to stay in the U.S for three more years to practice in rural areas
Go to https://bipartisanpolicy.org/report/confronting-rural-americas-health-care-crisis for the report. Go to https://bipartisanpolicy.org, click on past events to view the webinar.