Devon Seibert-Bailey, Vice President for Policy at Strategic Health Care, joined us to discuss the history and status of the Veterans Choice Program. Started in 2014, the Choice Program allows veterans to receive health care within their community, and not just from VA medical centers. Many CAHs are eligible to become providers under the program, and just need to enroll to participate.
Devon comes with a wealth of experience handling health and veterans policy. Prior to working at Strategic Health Care, Devon spent over 6 years serving on the House Committee on Veterans Affairs. She also spent almost 2 years as a policy advisor at the Department of Veterans Affairs under the Bush Administration. In total, Devon has over 11 years of experience working on Capitol Hill, including work as both the Legislative Director for Congressman David B. McKinley, P.E. (WV-01), and for Representative Marge Roukema of New Jersey.
Paul Lee, Senior Partner at Strategic Health Care, discussed the bipartisan Critical Access and Rural Equity (CARE) Act, H.R. 3224.
The CARE Act legislation will ensure Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) are able to maintain high-quality care in their rural communities by offering greater clarity to the definition of allowable costs. CAHs play a vital role providing access to inpatient and outpatient services, as well as 24-hour emergency health care, economic security, and jobs to frontier communities across the nation. CAHs act as safety-net providers and are critical to ensuring that rural communities have access to emergency medical treatment within the “critical hour.” Without CAHs, hundreds of thousands of Americans may lose or have limited access to essential care.
A clearer definition of allowable costs is absolutely necessary. The CARE Act would clarify the definition of CAH allowable costs to assure that patient- and physician-centered expenses are included as originally intended. The legislation would also clarify commonly cited auditor discrepancies and remove barriers to care by ensuring coverage of the most common diagnostic tests, health clinics, and physician recruitment and retention costs.
The CAH Coalition has been holding introductory webinars, rolling out our new initiatives, and legislative updates.
Download the webinar’s slides below.
Watch the video of the webinar here.
Whittney Walker, Funding Program Manager for Community Hospital Corporation, and the CAH Coalition spoke on telecommunications and how to apply for funding from USAC’s Rural Health Care Program. Whittney works with CHC’s hospitals and rural facilities to navigate state and federal funding programs to improve access to telecommunications services. Whittney works with hospitals across the country to secure the more than half a billion dollars in funding for healthcare providers and provided guidance as Critical Access Hospitals evaluate the USAC program.
The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released their nearly 2,400 pages final rule for the Medicare and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) on Friday, October 14, 2017. The CAH Coalition commented on a number of provisions in the rule including requesting a 3-year MIPS penalties delay for CAHS, requesting a streamlined patient data capture and reporting system for CAHs, and recognition of the differences between CAH and RHC reporting requirements. This webinar discusses what is in the final rule affecting CAHs as well as CMS’s response to our requests.
To view the webinar on CAHs and MACRA, click the link below.