Congress Must Protect Rural Hospitals When Considering Site Neutral Payment Policy Changes

As Congress examines Medicare outpatient payments across different sites of service, the unique circumstances of rural hospitals, particularly Sole Community Hospitals and Medicare Dependent Hospitals, must be considered and protected.

Updating the Hospital-Specific Payment Base Year for MDHs and SCHs

The current base years were established by Congress in statute and, as such, Congress has periodically added new base years from which MDHs and SCHs can derive their hospital-specific rate. Congress last enacted updates more than 15 years ago, and it is well past time for these programs to reflect a more current cost experience.

SCHs, MDHs Should Be Equitably Reimbursed for Uncompensated Care

SCHs and MDHs paid on the basis of their hospital-specific rate should also receive a DSH payment adjustment and an uncompensated care pool allocation.

SCHs, MDHs Can Improve Rural Physician Shortages

SCHs and MDHs paid using their hospital-specific rate should receive IME adjustments to encourage these hospitals to localize resident training in rural areas.

Congress Should Fulfill the Intent of the 340B Program and Pass the Closing Loopholes for Orphan Drugs Act

Lawmakers should reintroduce the Closing Loopholes for Orphan Drugs Act, to ensure that RRCs and SCHs (as well as CAHs and cancer hospitals) benefit from the 340B Program to the extent that Congress intended, allowing these facilities to continue to provide rural communities with local access to important health care services.