NARHC-News | Spring 2020
RHC Articles in This Newsletter

• Congress Introduced Improved Telehealth for Underserved Communities Act
• Financial Programs for RHC During Covid-19
• NARHC's Educational Opportunities
• CMS Videos, Webinars + MLN Matters
• In Case You Missed It - NARHC Hard At Work
• Nominations Sought Ron Nelson Award
Discover the Online World of Novitasphere
• NARHC 2020 Fall Institute
• NARHC Board of Director Candidates Sought
• Addition of the QW Modifier
• Telehealth Billing for RHCs
• Managing the Mental Health Crisis
• CCM - More Important Than Ever!
• Coding RHC Telehealth Visits
Congress Introduces Improved Telehealth for Underserved Communities Act
H.R. 6792 Allows RHCs to be Paid AIR for Telehealth Visits

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 federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) to bill as distant site providers, and now they are leading the way on improving our deeply problematic telehealth billing methodology.    Read More
Financial Programs for RHCs During COVID-19 Pandemic

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.

Thankfully, due to the efforts of the RHC community and NARHC, rural health clinics have been largely included in these various programs.   Read More
NARHC's Educational Opportunities

Certified RHC Professional (CRHCP) Training - Fall 2020
Registration Opens August 1st, 2020

This extensive ONLINE TRAINING will prepare the learner to successfully run a Rural Health Clinic. The learner will gain full spectrum, in-depth knowledge of basic rules, regulations, and laws regarding RHCs from this course. The roughly 10-15 study hours may be done nights, weekends, or whenever as long as it’s completed before Oct. 26. Those who complete the coursework & pass the final exam will be awarded the prestigious CRHCP credential.

* * * *
Introduction to RHCs Course
Registration Always Open!

This brief course is an orientation tool to learn about RHC basics. It’s a high-level overview of managing RHC vs Non-RHC, best practices for RHC managers, understanding the value of being a RHC, the history of the RHC program, and how the National Association of Rural Health Clinics came to be.

COST: NARHC Member FREE! Non-Member $50 Read More
CMS Videos, Webinars & MLN Matters of Note

  • Medicare Coverage & Payment of Virtual Services for Telehealth - Video from CMS
  • Coronavirus Waivers & Flexibilities - The Latest Information can be found in the MLN Matters Article SE20011
  • Lessons from the Front Lines: COVID-19 - Webinar, Friday, May 15, 12:30-2:00 PM Eastern Read More
In Case You Missed It...
NARHC is Hard At Work

These are certainly extraordinary times. Dealing with the coronavirus pandemic these past few months has been and continues to be very challenging for everyone, especially those of us in Rural Health Clinics. Keeping abreast of ever-changing legislation and guidance is more imperative now than ever! Just know that NARHC is here for you, we’ve got your back, and continue to advocate on behalf of all RHCs.

Check the “ News" tab on the website frequently for the latest RHC news and like our FB page. Pay attention to dates on the news tab articles--guidance changes frequently. Here are a few from the last month. Read More
Nominations Sought for the Ron Nelson Award

NARHC's Annual Award recognizes and honors an outstanding leader and promoter of Rural Health Clinics in the spirit of Ron Nelson. Nominate individuals who have dedicated their time and talent as he did to advancing the health and well-being of others through the RHC program.

Nominations will be accepted from NARHC members through June 30th. Recipients though do not have to be NARHC members. This sign of our deep appreciation and national distinction will be awarded at the NARHC Annual Meeting in October. Learn more about this outstanding man, his accomplishments & the award, Read More
Discover the Online World of Novitasphere

Novitas, the Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) for Jurisdiction H and Jurisdiction L, offers many ways to conduct your day-to-day Medicare business through Novitasphere, our free, secure internet portal. Novitasphere offers a world of timesaving features and easily connects you directly to Novitas Solutions in order receive instant access to:

  • Obtain beneficiary eligibility and obtain the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI)
  • Submit claims and retrieve electronic claim reports
  • Check claim status
  • Retrieve and print remittance advices
  • Perform claim corrections and report claims as billed in error
  • Submit appeal requests
  • And much more!
2020 NARHC Fall Institute
Sheraton Phoenix Downtown
Phoenix, Arizona
October 26-28, 2020   (M-W noon)   

The conference "for & about" RHCs

NARHC is closely monitoring the evolution of the Coronavirus and we are hopeful that we will be able to hold the live conference in October. Watch for more details to be posted at a later date. Read More
2021 NARHC Board of Director Candidates Sought

If you would be interested in running for the 2021 NARHC Board of Directors, we're looking for a few dynamic leaders!

There will be 3 openings for the 3-year term that starts Jan. 1, 2021. These positions are voted upon by the NARHC membership at the Annual Meeting held in Phoenix in Oct. & via absentee ballot beforehand.

You must be affiliated with a current NARHC member RHC or organization in order to run and serve. Application deadline is June 30. Read More
Addition of the QW Modifier

This article informs you about the addition of the QW modifier to HCPCS code U0002 (2019-
nCoV Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2/2019-nCoV (COVID-19), any technique, multiple types or
subtypes (includes all targets), non-CDC) and 87635 [Infectious agent detection by nucleic acid
(DNA or RNA); severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus
disease [COVID-19]), amplified probe technique]. Read More

Telehealth Billing for Rural Health Clinics

When it comes to movies, I am a bit of a dandy preferring period dramas to the usual Hollywood superhero action flicks. So, it should be no surprise, I was excited when I heard a remake of Little Women was to be released. I waited with great anticipation until opening night and while the movie was good, all the flash backs, flash forwards, flash sideways, the story of four sisters at different ages, and the movie ends with (spoiler alert) Jo still does not marry Laurie left a little something to be desired. That is pretty much the way Rural Health Clinics feel about the Medicare Telehealth guidance provided by CMS. First, I do not want to sound critical of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as they have worked through a difficult regulatory minefield and have MacGyvered an aging CMS computer system to provide payments to RHCs as quickly as possible. The effort of CMS is truly unprecedented, historic, heroic, and highly appreciated by the RHC community.  Read More
Managing the Mental Health Crisis

Our mental health system was broken long before the Global Pandemic took hold, with 1 in 25 adults suffering some form of mental illness and 1 in 10 children, but only sufficient workforce to treat about a tenth of those. Now a recent poll suggests half of adults are experiencing significant anxiety and depression while the healthcare workforce may well be experiencing trauma. Calls to SAMHSA’s treatment referral line are up by 1000%. Here are some resources to help clinics manage the mental illness surge in demand, while getting patients back in to see their PCP’s.

For patients calling your office, triage patients using standard outcome measures such as the GAD-7, PHQ-9, or CAGE. Create a list of hotlines and online treatment options that you can use to connect people with the resources they need, based on their score (or use ours: If you need access to American Psychiatric Association (APA) approved outcome measures, please visit’s resource page. Read More
Chronic Care Management – More Important Than Ever

For many years, advocates of value-based care models have consistently promoted a very simple yet important message: care coordination improves clinical outcomes and increases patient satisfaction. It’s hard to dispute that proactively addressing and managing a person’s physical and mental health can lead to a reduction in unnecessary treatments and hospital admissions, and an increase in that person’s overall quality of life. This is more important when addressing those with chronic complex medical/behavioral issues that put them at risk of death. Never in our wildest dreams could we have realized the tremendous need for care coordination in combating a global outbreak.  Read More
Coding RHC Telehealth Visits

Most of us in the RHC/FQHC community have been spending a large amount of our COVID mitigation energy navigating Telehealth billing guidance. We all know how challenging this has been. The author of this article has written several Telehealth billing “keys”, only to have them become obsolete the next day!

Our latest RHC/FQHC Distant Site guidance from CMS was released on April 30, 2020. (MLN SE20016 Revised) MLN 20016 outlines how to use G2025 for RHC/FQHC Distant Site Telehealth Visits. This same guidance also allowed telephone-only visits to be billed as Telehealth visits. These could only be billed as Virtual Check-Ins, previously.   Read More
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