NARHC-News | Spring 2021
RHC Articles in This Newsletter
• HRSA Loan Repayment
The Story of RHCs: One Survey at a Time
• COVID Reporting Reminder
• Providers Mandate COVID-19 Vaccine
• RHC Grandfathering Fix Signed into Law
• Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Paused
• New Upper Payment Limits Began April 1st
• American Rescue Plan Provides $9 Billion for Rural Providers
NARHC 2021 Fall Institute
• Nominations Sought for Ron Nelson Award
• 2022 NARHC Board Candidates Sought
• Free Introduction to RHCs Course
• Cost Report Review Check List
• Education Loan Forgiveness for RHCs
• Why Becoming a PCMH Makes Sense in 2021
• Provider Enrollment - Where Does it Place
HRSA Loan Repayment

HRSA’s National Health Service Corps (NHSC) has awarded scholarships and loan repayment to health care providers dedicated to working in areas with limited access to care for nearly 50 years. This award year will be the largest one in HRSA’s history and clinicians are encouraged to apply even if their organization’s health professional shortage area (HPSA) score has not been competitive for awards in the past. Additionally, the NHSC Loan Repayment Program will dedicate $15 million for awards to clinicians working at Indian Health Service facilities, Tribally-Operated 638 Health Programs, and Urban Indian Health Programs.

The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) opened its application for three loan repayment programs: the NHSC Loan Repayment Program, the NHSC Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Program and the NHSC Rural Community Loan Repayment Program. The application closes on Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. ET.  Read More
Telling the Story of RHCs: One Survey at a Time

It seems like everyone wants you to fill out a survey in today’s day and age. After almost every interaction with an organization or company, we are prodded (sometimes not so subtly) to fill out a survey or provide a 1-to-5-star rating. I know healthcare is no exception as many of you probably do the same thing with your patients!

I think we all probably have survey fatigue at this point (I know I do), but it remains an important and useful tool for organizations to gather data and figure out how to improve. NARHC is no exception to this rule, and we need you to fight the survey fatigue to help us tell the Rural Health Clinic story here in Washington D.C. & across the country. Read More
COVID Reporting Reminder
This is a friendly reminder that required March reporting including the number of COVID-19 tests conducted and the number of positive tests is due on the Rural Health Clinic COVID-19 Reporting Portal (Table 1) by April 30. Please note that RHC COVID-19 Testing Program reporting is tentatively anticipated to continue until July 31, 2021, but could be extended. Read More
Providers Mandate COVID-19 Vaccine for Workers

The Houston Methodist hospital system is hoping to "lead by example" by mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for all of its workers.

"At Houston Methodist, we've made a commitment to offer our patients unparalleled safety, quality, service and innovation. When we choose to be vaccinated against COVID-19 we are prioritizing safety by helping stop the spread of this deadly virus and keeping our patients, visitors and colleagues safe," Houston Methodist President and CEO Dr. Marc Boom said in an email to managers. Read More
We have the Answers You're Looking For!

Have you ever found yourself searching high and low for answers? What are the definitions of service? What exactly are the staff responsibilities according to RHC regulations? Where can you find guidance specific to RHCs? NARHC has the answers at the click of a button!

Take a moment to check out our Newly Redesigned RHC Federal Statute, Regulation, and Guidance pages under the Resources tab of our website.

Please note, updates from the Medicare payment reforms recently made have yet to be made. We expect to receive updates shortly and will announce when the website has been updated.
RHC Grandfathering Fix Signed into Law
April 15, 2021
As expected, on April 14th, President Biden signed H.R. 1868 into law, fixing many of the issues with the RHC payment modernization law enacted in December. The legislation also retroactively extends the suspension of the 2% across-the-board Medicare sequestration through the end of 2021. Since April 1, CMS had been holding claims pending passage of this legislation, we expect CMS to lift this hold imminently.

The legislation makes the following changes to the RHC program: Read More
Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Paused
April 14, 2021
The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) within the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has asked us to provide the following alert on the Johnson and Johnson (J&J) vaccine pause:

Please review this link for the CDC’s Health Alert Network message and please see below the key recommendations for clinicians: Read More
New Upper Payment Limits Began April 1st
April 1, 2021
April 1st, 2021, the Rural Health Clinic (RHC) per visit upper payment limit increased from $87.52 to $100. The increased upper payment limit is a direct result of the payment changes included in Section 130 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. Some Medicare Administrative Contractors have already sent out letters to RHCs informing them of the increased upper limit and how it will affect their All-Inclusive Rate payments.

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, the House is expected to pass legislation after they return from recess (April 12th) that includes a grandfathering fix for RHCs and delays the resumption of a 2% Medicare sequestration cut until the end of 2021 that affects all providers. Read More
American Rescue Plan Provides $9 Billion for Rural Providers
March 12, 2021
Yesterday, President Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan into law. We are happy to report that the legislation includes a total of $9 billion for rural providers. Early versions and outlines of the American Rescue Plan did not meaningfully include rural providers and we sent a letter to Hill staff in February expressing our concerns about the lack of attention to rural health. Thankfully, due to the leadership of Senator Manchin (D-WV) and others, the final package did include significant funding for rural providers ~ including Rural Health Clinics.

The $9 billion for rural providers is broken out into two sections: Read More
NARHC 2021 Fall Institute
Northern Kentucky Convention Center

Covington, KY 41011 (Cincinnati)
October 18-20 (M-W noon)

• Cincinnati Marriott RiverCenter
10 W RiverCenter Blvd, Covington, KY 41011
• Embassy Suites by Hilton Cincinnati RiverCenter
10 E RiverCenter Blvd, Covington, KY 41011

The conference "for & about" RHCs

NARHC is monitoring the evolution of the Coronavirus and we are hopeful that with social distancing we will be able to hold a live conference in October. Watch for more details to be posted in June. Read More
Nominations Sought for the Ron Nelson Award
NARHC's Highest Honor

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 advance 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
2022 NARHC Board of Director Candidates Sought
Throw Your Hat in the Ring

If you would be interested in running for the 2022 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, 2022. These positions are voted upon by the NARHC membership at the Annual Meeting held in Northern Kentucky 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 30th. 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.

COST: NARHC Members FREE! Non-Member $50 Read More

Cost Report Review Check List
Common Errors, Productivity Standard, and Telehealth Changes Due to COVID

Do you know how to review your cost report for common errors?
What if we don't make the productivity standard due to Covid closures/Covid issues?
What is new this year to handle telehealth?

Whether you prepare your cost report or someone else inside or outside your organization prepares the report, a final review of the information is critical to ensure accuracy. Here is a high-level checklist for your cost report review: Read More
Education Loan Forgiveness for RHCs
Federal Nursing Loan Forgiveness Now Open to For-Profit and Not-For-Profit RHCs

The Federal nursing loan forgiveness program has in the past only been open to non-profit RHC’s. As of 2021 they now are accepting for-profit RHC applicants. The program forgives 60% of the nurse’s education debt over a two-year period with the option to renew for a third year for a total of 85% of the nurse’s education debt forgiven.

Eligible providers are RN’s and PRN’s including NP’s, CNM’s, CNS’s, CRNA’s, and nurse faculty. They ask that the nurse work 32 hours per week or 128 hours per month. Keep in mind that your debt-to-income ratio is strongly considered. The higher your debt-to-income ratio the greater your chances for receiving the funds. Read More
Why Becoming a Patient Centered Medical Home Makes Sense in 2021

In the RHC community, many have been hit hard by the pandemic and struggled to survive. Patients have been reluctant to schedule routine visits for fear of being exposed to the virus and access to care has been even more limited in some rural areas due to recent closures. The questions often asked during these auspicious times is, “How can clinics continue to offer quality care to their communities while attaining financial resilience and overcome the economic stressors of the past year?”

One opportunity that may be overlooked is to become a Patient Centered Medical Home. Clinics that have been through the process recently shared their stories and the benefits have transformed the provider/patient experience as well as increased the financial stability for the RHC.

The next question that may come to mind is, “What are the benefits and why should PCMH recognition be considered as part of our financial blueprint for 2021? Read More
Provider Enrollment
Where Does it Place?

How important are your Provider Enrollment and Credentialing processes? I’m sure everyone would agree their organizations are dependent on the foundation of a successful provider enrollment and credentialing process, but how do you measure success in these processes? Do you measure it at all?

Where does the Provider Enrollment and Credentialing process place in your organization? Read More
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Email for more information & include your topic idea!
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