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New & Expanded Flexibilities for RHCs & FQHCs during the COVID-19 PHE

2/24/2021 1:00:00 PM

CMS revised this MLN Matters article to provide the updated rate effective January 1, 2021, for G2025. You’ll find substantive content updates and the updated rate for G0071.

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Education Loan Repayment Program for RHCs
Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program Now Open to For-Profit and Not-For-Profit RHCs

2/19/2021 12:00:00 PM

Joe Lampard, VP, HPSA Acumen

The Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program has in the past only been open to non-profit RHC’s. As of 2021 they now are accepting for-profit RHC applicants. The program forgives 60% of the nurse’s education debt over a two-year period with the option to renew for a third year for a total of 85% of the nurse’s education debt forgiven.

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Telehealth Reimbursement Set at $99.45 for 2021

1/29/2021 3:00:00 PM

According to a recently released Relative Value Unit (RVU) file, payment for RHC telehealth visits (G2025) appears to be falling from $92.03 in 2020 to $53.74 in 2021. The steep decline in reimbursement is mostly due to the complete removal of the Practice Expense RVU from G2025.

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Rural Health Clinic Modernization Included in Final COVID Package

12/21/2020 5:00:00 PM

NARHC is pleased to report that Medicare reimbursement for RHCs will undergo a massive overhaul as part of the year-end COVID-19 relief and appropriations package passed by Congress. Notably, the RHC cap will be raised to $100 on April 1, 2020 and then the cap will gradually rise each year to $190 in 2028.

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Medicare Payment Updates for RHCs
Telehealth (G2025) Coinsurance and Reimbursement Policy Updated

12/8/2020 9:00:00 AM

The MLN Matters SE20016 was recently updated in a way that significantly alters G2025 reimbursement policy. The updated section is as follows...

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HRSA to Pay RHCs Who Have Not Yet Received RHC COVID-19 Testing Program Funds on Monday

12/4/2020 6:00:00 PM

After a long approval process, HRSA has informed NARHC and NOSORH that RHCs who missed out on the initial RHC COVID-19 testing fund allocation will be receiving payments on Monday. As a result, 184 RHCs, who did not receive $49,461.42 in May, will receive this money next week.

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2021 Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule Released
CMS Finalizes Principal Care Management for Rural Health Clinics

12/3/2020 5:30:00 PM

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released their 2021 Physician Fee Schedule final rule on December 1st and as expected, Rural Health Clinics will be able to bill for Principal Care Management services beginning in 2021.

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Data Collection Site Launched for the RHC COVID-19 Testing Program
www.RHCcovidreporting.com

10/16/2020 8:00:00 AM

Tuesday, October 6, we launched the online portal www.RHCcovidreporting.com to collect data on COVID-19 testing at Rural Health Clinics. The website is the official data collection portal for the RHC COVID-19 Testing Program which means that all RHCs that received money ($49,461.42 per RHC) from the RHC COVID-19 Testing Program are required to report through this portal per the terms and conditions of the program.

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CMS Clarifies that Provider Relief Funds & Paycheck Protection Program Loans will NOT Offset Expenses on Medicare Cost Report

9/1/2020 3:15:00 PM

Nathan Baugh, Director of Government Affairs

CMS clarified in guidance that providers who received provider relief funds (PRF) and/or paycheck protection program (PPP) loans would not need to offset expenses on their Medicare cost report by the amount received through those programs. This is a huge victory for providers reimbursed through cost-based systems such as rural health clinics and critical access hospitals who faced the prospect of having their Medicare reimbursement reduced because they received COVID-19 funds....

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CMS Proposes to Expand Principal Care Management to RHCs in 2021

8/6/2020 9:45:00 AM

In 2021, Rural Health Clinics should be able to bill for Principal Care Management (PCM) through the G0511 code. Back in January, we had to clarify that RHCs were excluded from being able to provide PCM in 2020 due to confusing language in the final physician fee schedule rule. At that time, we asked CMS to allow RHCs to provide PCM in 2021, and we are glad to report that they have now proposed to do exactly that.

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President Trump Issues Executive Order Focused on Rural Health

8/3/2020 7:30:00 PM

Nathan Baugh, Director of Government Affairs

President Trump signed an Executive Order late on Monday aimed at improving rural health and telehealth access. At his news conference afterward, President Trump specifically notated the number of “rural health clinics” that received funds as a result of the CARES Act.

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Changes to Telehealth Will Require YOUR Advocacy
Congress Considering Permanent Telehealth Changes

7/22/2020 12:00:00 PM

Emma Finerfrock

When the Coronavirus pandemic first struck the United States, healthcare facilities across the country suffered a steep decline in patient volume that threatened the financial viability of many hospitals and offices. In fact, researchers from Phreesia, a healthcare technology company, and Harvard University found that outpatient visits alone declined by nearly 60 percent in early April.

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HHS Releases Millions for RHCs Left Out of Initial Provider Relief Fund Distribution

6/25/2020 12:00:00 PM

NARHC is pleased to announce that earlier today, the Department of Health and Human Services released more the $50 Million dollars in Relief Fund payments to RHCs that were left out of the original May 1 RHC distribution. This money is in addition to the more than $500 Million distributed to all other RHCs in early May.

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Telehealth Fix Takes Step Forward in Senate

6/22/2020 2:45:00 PM

Nathan Baugh, Emma Finerfrock

On June 18th, the Improving Telehealth for Underserved Communities Act was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) and Sen. Angus King (I-ME). “Thanks to the leadership of Sen. Hyde-Smith and Sen. King, the RHC community is one step closer to fixing our telehealth reimbursement issues,” said Bill Finerfrock, Executive Director of the National Association of Rural Health Clinics.

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How to Apply for the Medicaid/CHIP Targeted Allocation

6/19/2020 11:25:00 AM

Emma Finerfrock

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is hosting two, free webinars to help providers apply for the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) targeted allocation. This targeted allocation will only be sent to Medicaid and CHIP providers who did not receive any funds from the “General Allocation” which began paying out on April 10th.

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CMS Pushes Supplementals to Recognize Telehealth Crossover Claims

6/12/2020 4:15:00 PM

Nathan Baugh

As many of you have noted on the NARHC forums, telehealth visit (G2025) crossover claims were being denied. We begin investigating this issue and learned that the CMS contractor for “edit validation” failed to load G2025 into their system until May 27th. This means...

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Amendments to Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Provide More Flexibility

6/11/2020 11:30:00 AM

Nathan Baugh & Emma Finerfrock

On Friday, June 5, 2020, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (PPPFA) of 2020 was signed into law. This legislation relaxes requirements in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and was passed in response to small business concerns about the requirements to qualify for loan forgiveness.

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HHS Announces Details of RHC COVID-19 Testing Fund

5/20/2020 2:25:00 PM

HHS has announced details regarding the Rural Health Clinic Testing fund in a press release here:

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Congress Introduces Improving Telehealth for Underserved Communities Act
H.R. 6792 Allows RHCs to be Paid AIR for Telehealth Visit

5/12/2020 11:00:00 AM

On May 8th, Representative Adrian Smith (R-NE) and Representative Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ) introduced the Improving Telehealth for Underserved Communities Act. The National Association of Rural Health Clinics (NARHC) strongly endorses this legislation and we sincerely thank Rep. Smith and Rep. O’Halleran for their leadership on this issue. Both members were instrumental in getting the law changed to allow rural health clinics (RHCs) and

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UPDATE: HHS Initial Plan for Rural Health Distribution Does NOT Include All RHCs

5/5/2020 6:30:00 PM

Last Friday, NARHC Executive Director Bill Finerfrock participated in a phone call with Deputy Secretary Hargan regarding the $10 billion rural provider relief allocation. After this call, we published a brief news article about the allocation. However, we are now learning that some of the details initially communicated to NARHC were inaccurate. HHS reached out to us today to correct the record.

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