ICYMI: Congressman Fred Keller discusses RURAL HELP Act

March 16, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. — In case you missed it, Congressman Fred Keller (R-PA) joined RFD-TV to discuss the reintroduction of the RURAL HELP Act, his legislation that aims to improve access to quality care for millions of Americans living in rural communities.

 

Congressman Keller joined RFD-TV to discuss his legislation Monday on Market Day Report.

 

As reported by RFD-TV:

 

The National Rural Health Association says that hundreds of hospitals could be at risk of closing, in addition to the dozens that have already closed in the last decade.

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The Rural Help Act, introduced by Pennsylvania Republican Fred Keller, looks to keep rural hospitals open. 

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According to Keller, "We just want to make sure that as we look at things, there was equity between the reimbursement rates based on the weighted averages from Medicare for inpatient services. An area where we thought we could be helpful in making sure that they have the resources to remain viable and are getting paid fairly and comparably to what the hospitals in the urban areas might be."

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"We are continuing to meet with the hospitals to see what their needs are," he adds. "Of course, during COVID-19, we were dealing with many other issues, as they were too, to try to make sure that they had the help and resources they needed through COVID."

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BACKGROUND:

 

Congressman Keller reintroduced the Reviewing Urban and Rural Adjustments to Level Hospital Expenses and Lopsided Payments Act, otherwise known as the RURAL HELP Act in the 117th Congress with original co-sponsors Mike Kelly (PA-16), Glenn “GT” Thompson (PA-15), Morgan Griffith (VA-09), Frank Lucas (OK-03), and Greg Steube (FL-17).

 

The legislation aims to bring parity to inpatient Medicare reimbursement payments between rural and urban hospitals to help struggling rural hospitals survive by requiring the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to determine the precise level of systematic disparity that exists between urban and rural hospital payments in the annual Inpatient Prospective Payment System. The legislation also specifies that once the evaluation is completed, the Secretary shall make an adjustment to CMS payment policies to make up for the identified disparity.

 

 

More information about the RURAL HELP Act, including full text of the bill, is available here.

 

 

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