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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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Rural Provider Relief Fund Details Announced
All RHCs to receive a minimum of $100,000

5/1/2020 4:30:00 PM

Today, the Trump Administration announced additional details regarding the distribution of $10 Billion from the Provider Relief fund for rural hospitals and rural health clinics and rural federally qualified health centers. As part of this announcement, National Association of Rural Health Clinics (NARHC) Executive Director Bill Finerfrock was invited...

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CMS Revises Telehealth Distant Site Guidance
Audio-Only Visits Now Considered Full Telehealth Distant Site Visits

4/30/2020 4:00:00 PM

On April 30th, 2020, CMS significantly updated their telehealth guidance for RHCs and FQHCs. There are two massive changes. First, ALL distant site telehealth visits must be billed with HCPCS code G2025.

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Pediatric RHCs Excluded from Provider Relief Fund?

4/28/2020 12:00:00 PM

The National Association of Rural Health Clinics has been working with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to address the exclusion of Pediatric RHCs from the General Distribution of money from the Provider Relief Fund. We believe that HHS understands this problem and will not repeat this oversight in the next release of funds.

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Financial Programs for Rural Health Clinics During COVID-19 Pandemic

4/28/2020 6:00:00 AM

The federal government recognizes that the health care industry is in the midst of both a public health crisis and a financial crisis and while it may or may not be enough, they have appropriated $175 billion thus far to keep our industry afloat. This $175 billion has been split into multiple allocations for different purposes and it comes on top of other programs, such as the Paycheck Protection Program and the Medicare Accelerated Payment Program.

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$225 Million Grant Program Approved for Rural Health Clinics

4/24/2020 3:15:00 PM

We are pleased to report that the Congress is set to approve a new $225 MILLION grant program exclusively for federally certified Rural Health Clinics for testing and related expenses associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

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HHS Announces $10 Billion for Rural Health Clinics and Rural Hospitals

4/22/2020 4:30:00 PM

On April 22, 2020, HHS updated their provider relief website with additional information about how they plan to spend the rest of the $100 billion allocated for healthcare providers by the CARES Act.

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CMS Allows RHCs to Temporarily Expand During PHE

4/22/2020 12:00:00 PM

CMS updated their document on COVID-19 waivers today to allow RHCs to temporarily expand locations during the public health emergency. Here is the relevant section:

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CMS Releases Guidance on Telehealth Billing for RHCs

4/17/2020 1:15:00 PM

CMS has released the long-awaited guidance on telehealth billing for RHCs. Here is a link to the MLN document: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/se20016.pdf UPDATED 4/21/2020

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Telehealth Grant Opportunities for Non-Profit and Publicly Owned RHCs

4/14/2020 1:00:00 PM

The CARES Act included $200 million in funding (via grants) to help health care providers establish telehealth services and non-profit/publicly owned RHCs are eligible to apply for these grants. The grant money can be used to “purchase telecommunications, information services, and connected devices to provide connected care services in response to the coronavirus pandemic.”

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