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NARHC Update on RHC Involvement in MIPS

on Tue, 05/31/2016 - 03:58

The Rural Health Clinic payment system is EXEMPT from the recently proposed MIPS initiative.  MIPS is a payment adjustment (up or down) that will be applied to fee-for-service payments by Medicare beginning in 2019.  Clinicians participating in MIPS will begin reporting data in 2017 that will determine their 2019 payment adjustment.  The scoring for MIPS (0 – 100 point scale) will be a composite of individual/group reporting on PQRS, EHR Meaningful Use, Cost/Resource use and other quality/cost reporting requirements.   


If an RHC wishes to drop their RHC status and bill fee-for-service

CMS drops two-midnight rule's inpatient payment cuts

on Mon, 04/25/2016 - 18:47

The CMS will not continue to impose an inpatient payment cut to hospitals under the two-midnight rule following ongoing industry criticism and a legal challenge. It will provide a onetime bump to hospitals to offset the cuts.  The agency imposed the cut because it estimated the two-midnight policy would increase Medicare spending by approximately $220 million because of an expected increase in inpatient admissions.  Hospitals will also see a temporary increase of 0.6% in fiscal 2017. That would make up for the 0.2% reduction to the rates the past three years.

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FDA clarifies compounding rules

on Mon, 04/18/2016 - 18:40

The Food and Drug Administration issued three draft guidance documents on Friday that answer providers' and pharmacists' burning questions about drug compounding standards.  The proposed rules clarify the amount of drugs that providers can compound without a prescription, set requirements for health system compounding pharmacies and clarify how large-scale compounding sites known as “outsourcing facilities” may be set up. This follows two reports from the Pew Charitable Trusts that found compounding oversight is largely left up to the states and varies widely.

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First Mississippi Rural Health Fellows to be announced at RHC Conference in May

on Wed, 04/13/2016 - 19:11

The education committee of the Association just met today to confirm the first recipients of the Mississippi Rural Health Fellow. The inaugural recipients of the fellow include Susan Campbell of Rush Medical Center, and Zach Allen of Children's International Medical Group. The inaugural recipient of the student fellow is Logan Ramsey, a first year medical student at UMMC. If you are interested in applying for the Mississippi Rural Health Fellow, visit

Mississippi Influenza Update

on Wed, 04/06/2016 - 20:16

The state's influenza-like illness rate has risen to its highest level for the 2015-2016 flu season. While still below the level of past flu seasons, it is a sign that flu-like illnesses are holding steady in Mississippi. Nationwide, 18 deaths of children 18 and under have been caused by influenza this season, one of which was in Mississippi. Flu shots are still available from county health departments, doctors, and pharmacies, and are especially recommended for younger children, older adults, and the chronically ill. 


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2016 Value Modifier Results and Upward Payment Adjustment Factor

on Mon, 03/21/2016 - 21:38

CMS made available results from the implementation of the 2016 Value Modifier and the adjustment factor that will be applied to physician groups that are subject to upward payment adjustments under the Value Modifier in 2016. The upward payment adjustment factor in 2016 is +15.92%. The Value Modifier adjustment factor is determined after the close of the performance period and is based on the estimated aggregate amount of downward payment adjustments.

Board of Medical Licensure Agrees to Adopt Collaboration Agreement Extension

on Mon, 03/21/2016 - 20:27

Due to your strong show of support, in addition to that of other supporting organizations in Mississippi, the Mississippi Board of Medical Licensure has agreed to adopt a measure extending the mile radius for physician / APRN collaboration from 15 miles to 75 miles, with no limit on the number of APRNs per collaborating physician.  


A letter was read aloud from the Senate floor by Sen. Terry Burton from the board stating that this measure would be adopted at their next board meeting on Thursday, March 24, 2016 at 9 a.m. in Jackson.

Cochran Questions HHS Secretary on Rural Health Care Access

on Mon, 03/07/2016 - 21:31

 Appropriations Chairman Raises Concerns over Inadequate Support for Rural Critical Access Hospitals


U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, on Thursday questioned Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell over the Obama administration’s inadequate support for Critical Access Hospitals (CAH).


Cochran raised the issue of access to healthcare in rural areas at a Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee hearing to review the FY2017 budget request for the U.S.

Rural Health Funding Opportunities

on Mon, 02/29/2016 - 12:07

The following represent funding opportunities anounced through the Federal Office of Rural Health for March, 2016.

Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program – due March 14.  This grant from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) helps rural communities acquire equipment, infrastructure and technical assistance for telecommunications and telemedicine.

Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi Recognized

on Mon, 02/22/2016 - 22:13

Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi's positive achievement in healthcare-associated infection rates has received recognition in the newspaper, the Oxford Eagle.  The news story reported that the Oxford hospital was one of the top five hospitals in the state with the lowest level of catheter-associated infections (CAUTI) and central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) for the reporting period January 2014 through July 2015.