WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) today expressed concern to the Obama Administration that federal regulations for health care facilities do not adequately consider their impact on rural communities. A bipartisan group of 33 other senators joined Sen. Moran in this letter to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Director Marilyn Tavenner.
In the letter, senators pressed CMS for details about how the agency is incorporating rural health care experts in the regulatory rule-making process. Noting that federal health regulations frequently do not adequately reflect the reality of health delivery in rural areas, the senators called on CMS to explain its process for accounting for the rural impact of such regulations as well as its engagement with rural health stakeholders during rulemaking.
“We remain concerned these policy decisions do not reflect the reality of providing care in rural communities, and we request additional details on these consultation efforts in advance of future rulemaking,” the letter reads. “The proportion of elderly rural Americans continues to grow, and even small policy changes or incremental payment adjustments have a significant impact on access to care in rural areas. Medicare beneficiaries should be able to obtain care within their own communities when possible, and we are committed to ensuring federal policies recognize and incorporate the unique challenges rural providers face.”
Click here to view the letter sent on Oct. 9, 2014 to CMS Administrator Tavenner. The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) and the American Hospital Association (AHA) both support the letter.