On March 12, U.S. Congressman Ron Kind introduced legislation
to fix an unintended error impacting rural health clinics (RHCs) in the 2020 year-end COVID package, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.
As reported in a prior edition of The Valued Voice
, the year-end COVID package reformed how RHCs are reimbursed in an attempt to narrow the gap between capped and uncapped RHCs. Unfortunately, while the bill intended to ensure no RHC would see a payment cut as a result of the change, a drafting error would result in taking away cost-based reimbursement from RHCs who came online after 2019 and paying them the lower capped rate.
Congressman Kind's legislation would insert the intended date of Dec. 31, 2020, into the federal statute. So long as an RHC had an application on file with the federal government prior to that date, it would not be penalized with the lower rate.
The Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) is aware of a number of members who were impacted by this change and has supported efforts to fix it. WHA is also supporting legislation
introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to extend the date delaying the 2% Medicare sequester cuts, which also includes this legislation protecting RHCs. Please contact WHA Vice President of Federal and State Relations Jon Hoelter
for more information.