NARHC Newsletter | Spring 2022
In This Issue
NARHC DC Office Updates
  • Omnibus Extends Telehealth Beyond Public Health Emergency
  • Technical Assistance Resources & Reminders
  • Important RHC Behavioral Health Provisions Proposed in President's FY 2023 Budget
  • Enduring Legacy

Noteworthy News
  • Are You A Member: Intro to RHCs Course Free!
  • Save the Date: Fall CRHCP Session
  • NARHC 2022 Fall Institute
  • Ron Nelson Award
Member Spotlight
  • CRHCP: A Perfect Score!

Consultant's Corner
  • Improper Blood Storage and Transportation Can Cost Lives
  • Check Your Eligibility for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Waiver
  • A Solution to Your RHC's Staffing Shortage
  • Medicare Bad Debt: Don't Leave Money on the Table with Your Cost Report
  • Behavioral Health Integration (BHI) to Implement Value-Based Care
  • What is a Emergency Rural Hospital and Why Do They Matter?
  • Improving Opioid Management in Primary Care
  • Telehealth Billing Update
Omnibus Extends Telehealth Beyond Public Health Emergency
Earlier this month, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022 which funded the government for the rest of fiscal year 2022. This bill, also known as the “omnibus” was widely viewed as the last major legislative vehicle for health policy changes until after the mid-term elections. While there were serious legislative efforts to pass significant, and much needed, telehealth reforms for rural health clinics, ultimately, the final bill simply extended telehealth policies for 151-days beyond the end of the public health emergency (PHE). READ MORE
Technical Assistance Resources & Reminders
HRSA COVID-19 Program Updates
As you are probably aware, throughout the pandemic HRSA implemented numerous RHC funding and supply programs. Please read below for updates about each program and to be reminded of important deadlines! READ MORE
Important RHC Behavioral Health Provisions Proposed in President's FY 2023 Budget
In late March, the White House released President Biden’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2023 which will begin on October 1, 2022. It is very important to understand that this budget is only a proposal and will need to be enacted by Congress. However, the Biden Administration has included provisions specific to behavioral health services within RHCs, an important demonstration of the Administration’s priorities! READ MORE
Enduring Legacy
For those who were not able to attend the Spring NARHC conference you did indeed miss a great meeting. It was so good to see old friends and so many new faces joining the RHC family. The growth of the RHC program has been phenomenal thanks to all of you. You also missed the final meeting of our co-founder and Executive Director Bill Finerfrock, prior to his anticipated retirement in June. Bill and Ron Nelson began NARHC at Ron’s kitchen table over 30 years ago. They changed the face of rural healthcare and access to care for all rural America. READ MORE
Introduction to RHCs

This orientation tool is great for new employees of Rural Health Clinics to have the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of an RHC as well as hear about the history of the program. This is FREE to NARHC Members and only $50 for Non-Members.

Certified Rural Health Clinic Professional Course

The Certified Rural Health Clinic Professional (CRHCP) Course is designed to educate participants on the operations, rules and regulations to manage a successful rural health clinic. This highly sought after, full-spectrum course is offered to Directors, Consultants, Clinic Administrators & other RHC leaders. LEARN MORE
Ron Nelson Award
Seeking Applications Now Thru June
NARHC has an Annual Award which recognizes and honors an outstanding leader and promoter of Rural Health Clinics. Nominate individuals who have dedicated their time and talent to advancing the health and well being of others through the RHC program.

Nominations will be accepted from members through June 30th. Recipients do not have to be NARHC members. This sign of our appreciation and national distinction will be awarded at the NARHC Annual Meeting in October. NOMINATE SOMEONE TODAY!
A Perfect Score

Congratulations to Sammie Asher from Kentucky Primary Care Association for achieving a perfect score on the Certified Rural Health Clinic Professional Course at our 2022 Spring Session. Since the CRHCP course started in 2018, there have been over 1000 participants to have taken the exam and Sammie is only the 2nd person to have achieved a perfect score!

We would also like to congratulate the 165 professionals who join Sammie in passing the certification exam this Spring Session.
Sammie Asher, CRHCP, CPB is the IPA Service Operations Manager with Kentucky Primary Care Association. Sammie resides in London, KY with her husband, Donavan and 2 children, Brayden (14) and Sophie (12). Sammie has 15+ years’ experience in Revenue Cycle and Billing Management with most of that focusing on primary care and RHC.

“Being from a small town in the coal fields of Eastern Kentucky, I understand the struggle of finding quality access to healthcare. I remember my grandparents traveling to another town just to see a primary care provider. This is an example of why the RHC’s mission is so important, to remove those barriers and provide quality healthcare, close to home, for those in under served areas.” 
Improper Blood Storage and Transportation Can Cost Lives
How to Maintain the Integrity of Traveling Specimens
Most of us are familiar with a routine blood sample as the starting point for checking up on or diagnosing potential health issues. But once your precious blood leaves in a sample vial, do you ever think about where it goes and how crucial the safe and secure transport of your blood is? The integrity of a specimen depends on the accurate preparation of the patient, collection of the blood, and handling and transportation of the specimen, all before the actual analysis and/or use of the specimen. READ MORE
Check Your Eligibility For the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Waiver
Student loan borrowers working for nonprofits, or the government were elated at the start of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program in 2007 at the prospect of their college debt being discharged. But optimism quickly shifted to disappointment when many borrowers came to find out they were ineligible for forgiveness even after 10 years of public service. The primary reason their applications were denied boiled down to poor communication and misunderstandings about PSLF requirements.  READ MORE
A Solution to Your RHC's Staffing Shortage
How to Leverage CCM to Help Your RHC In More Ways Than One
The number one issue patients have with their RHC is the lack of access, they will call, and the phone will ring for an eternity before they get help. Where are your staff? BUSY AND OVERWHELMED!! With both COVID-19 and the great resignation going on, being short staffed is becoming a greater challenge by the day. Consider that you are a Rural Health Center, and the challenge can be exasperated to a critical problem. READ MORE
Medicare Bad Debt: Don't Leave Money on the Table with Your Cost Report
Medicare bad debts present rural health clinics (RHCs) and other Medicare Part A providers an opportunity to recover reimbursement dollars they might otherwise miss. Provided that a RHC keeps a proper log, its total uncollected Medicare co-insurance and/or deductibles can be claimed on its cost report for 65% reimbursement. READ MORE
Behavioral Health Integration (BHI) to Implement Value-Based Care
According to the American Hospital Association, behavioral health conditions affect nearly one of five Americans and lead to healthcare costs of $57 billion per year — this is on par with what is spent on cancer treatment. Integrating behavioral health with primary care is now widely considered an effective strategy for improving outcomes. Behavioral health is an umbrella term that encompasses mental health, substance abuse conditions, and stress-related physical symptoms. All of these can be exacerbated by various social determinants of health, such as economic circumstances or limited access to healthy food. READ MORE
What is a Rural Emergency Hospital and Why Do They Matter?
Recent data, according to the Chartis Center of Rural Health, reported that a quarter of all rural hospitals are vulnerable to closure- “216 CAHs were identified as high closure risk, along with 119 rural PPS hospitals. 237 additional CAH and rural PPS were identified as ‘at risk’”. A true ‘closure’ of a hospital can be defined as all services on the old site have closed or it has converted into a hospital that only now provides other services than in-patient care. READ MORE
Improving Opioid Management in Primary Care
In 2019, nearly 50,000 people in the U.S. died from a drug overdose involving opioids, a more than six-fold increase from 1999 and accounting for over 70% of all overdose deaths.2 Since then, the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the opioid epidemic across the U.S. Many individuals and families have experienced increased stress and anxiety due to job losses, school and childcare closures, and social isolation, while access to medical care, counseling services, and addiction treatment programs has been disrupted or delayed significantly. READ MORE
Telehealth Billing Update
There are many questions percolating in the RHC-FQHC community about telehealth services and what will happen to the flexibilities granted for COVID-19. The Public Health Emergency (PHE) Telehealth Flexibilities allowed in MLN SE20016 have become Standard Operating Procedure. The terms Distant Site and Originating site had been rendered moot during the Public Health Emergency. We are accustomed to billing G2025 for ALL telehealth services, and NOT being paid the All-Inclusive Rate (G2025 is currently paid at $97.24). Will these flexibilities remain? READ MORE
NARHC Members may contribute articles to the quarterly newsletter.