NARHC-News | Fall 2020
RHC Articles in This Newsletter

• Data Collection Site Launched for COVID-19
• $5000 Grants Available for Rural Pediatric Clinics to Begin Telehealth
• Free Technical Assistance Webinars
• NARHC 2020 Fall Institute
Free Intro to RHCs Course
Integrated Outpatient Code Editor Specs Revised
Your Patients' Cold & Flu Survival Guide
• National Rural Health Day
• RHC Billing & Telehealth
• Provider Relief Funds Reporting Requirements

Data Collection Site Launched for the RHC COVID-19 Testing Program

On Tuesday, October 6, we launched the online portal 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. If RHCs do not provide data on this website, they are opening themselves to auditing risks and could end up having to return the money back to the government.

However, we do not want RHCs to panic. The Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) contracted with NARHC to create this portal and we designed it to be as simple and as straightforward as possible. We are only asking for basic data, that should be relatively easy to obtain such as:

  • The Tax Identification Number of the organization that received the funding
  • The number of tests and positive results by month
  • The address(es) of COVID-19 testing locations  Read More
$5000 Grants Available for Rural Pediatric Clinics to Begin Telehealth
Application Deadline October 22

The “Supporting Providers and Families to Access Telehealth and Distant Care Services for Pediatric Care” project is a grant between the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) in the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The goal of this grant is to support telehealth access and infrastructure for the provision of comprehensive care to children and adolescents, including children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) and other vulnerable pediatric populations, utilizing a medical home approach during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More
FREE Technical Assistance Webinars

One of the many ways NARHC keeps you informed of regulative changes that affect rural health clinics is through our Technical Assistance webinars offered about once a month. These T.A. webinars are offered FREE of charge and are available to both members and non-members alike. We advertise upcoming webinars through our Technical Assistance Forum. Make sure you subscribe to stay in the know!  Here are a few of the most recent…

  • Navigating RHC Covid Reporting Requirements – Oct. 6, 2020
  • RHC Cost Reporting During Covid – Sept. 21, 2020
  • Covid-19 Testing - What RHCs Are Doing for Their Communities – Aug. 27, 2020.

We Hope You're Enjoying the
NARHC 2020 Virtual Fall Institute

There are 510 participants and 21 Exhibitors. Sessions are Tuesday and Thursday afternoons through October 29 but they are available both live and recorded for later viewing. 

See what our exhibitors are saying about the conference after just the first day…

“Please accept my sincerest appreciation for one of the best Virtual Exhibit set ups. As an exhibitor I thank you for the excellent visitor and exhibitor experience.” Aarif Dahod, Accessible Remote Patient Monitoring, Inc.

Live sessions started this week but you can still signup for the conference & view those sessions at your convenience: Read More
FREE Introduction to RHCs Course
Are You New to the RHC World?
Do You Have New Employees?

Take advantage of your NARHC membership with our FREE Introduction to RHCs Course! NARHC's brief Introduction to RHCs orientation tool breaks down the most essential things you will need to know to operate an RHC. Takes about one hour. 

COST: NARHC Members FREE!  Non-Member $50 Read More
October 2020 Integrated Outpatient Code Editor (I/OCE) Specifications Version 21.3 -- Revised

CMS revised MLN Matters Article MM11944 on October 2020 Integrated Outpatient Code Editor (I/OCE) Specifications Version 21.3 (PDF) to update the summary of modifications for this quarter. Read More
Your Patients' Cold and Flu Season Survival Guide
Cold and flu season is here again, which means we as healthcare professionals are on especially high alert for potential dosing mistakes among our patients. Seven in 10willuse over-the-counter (OTC) medicines to treat their cold and flu symptoms, and research shows that consumers don’t always know that taking two medicines with the same ingredient could be harmful. Furthermore, two in three consumers don’t consider other OTC medicines they’re taking when choosing an OTC pain reliever. Read More
National Rural Health Day
Thursday, November 19, 2020

Surviving & Thriving 
The Power of Rural is 100% Community 

On National Rural Health Day, Katherine Ortega Courtney, Ph.D., and Dominic Cappello, authors of 100% Community: Ensuring 10 Vital Services for Surviving and Thriving, will discuss their groundbreaking research and the roadmap they have created to help rural counties press reset and learn how to work together in new ways to create local systems of health, safety, education and economic stability. #powerofrural Read More

RHC Billing & Telehealth
Beyond the Public Health Emergency

Many of us are rightly concerned about what the future looks like for RHCs and Telehealth once the Public Health Emergency terminates. Surely, we all look forward to that day!! The Public Health Emergency (PHE) was extended, effective 10/23/2020, for another 90 days. This extension preserves RHC as Distant Site, G2025 at $92.03 (for better or worse!), 1135 location waivers, and telephone-only encounters via telehealth. The current PHE extension will terminate 1/23/2021.

The question is: what goes away when the Public Health Emergency does? What among the RHC Telehealth billing changes will be preserved if the PHE ends tomorrow? The answer right now is all of it foes away. None of these advances at the federal level have been preserved. There have been no federal legislative or policy changes to preserve RHC as distant site or telephone encountersRead More
Provider Relief Funds Reporting Requirements

On April 7, 2020, CMS Administrator, Seema Verma with great fanfare announced $30 billion of Provider Relief Funding for healthcare providers with “no strings attached”. In direct contrast on Saturday, September 19, 2020 HHS announced the Reporting Requirements for the Provider Relief Funds (PRF). This six-page document outlined the rigorous and burdensome reporting requirements for recipients of the provider relief funds and presented them with some almost impossible reporting deadlines. This document can be found here.

Even more troubling than the administrative and reporting nightmare outlined in the document is the methodology described in the requirements would require a large number or providers to pay back a substantial portion of the funds. The American Medical Association is quoted as saying “The American Medical Association estimates that 80% of physician practices will pay back 80% of Provider Relief Funds based upon the most recent guidance”. The American Hospital Association in a September 25, 2020 letter to CMS which can be found here expresses similar concerns and cites one hospital that will have to back $3.9 million of the $4.5 million of provider relief funding based upon the September 19, 2020 guidance. While we do not have good estimates for potential paybacks by rural health clinics at this time “many providers should anticipate that they will no longer qualify to retain all of the funds” per Jeff Bramschreiber, CPA from Wipfli. Jeff speaking to RHCs says “there is no need to panic but just be aware that any surplus of cash that may be on hand today may be needed to offset future losses or pay back some HHS money.” Read More
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