Rural Health Clinics

Letter from the NARHC President   

The ACA's Effect on Patients and Clinics

by John Gill, PA-C

How is the Affordable Care Act affecting your patients and clinic? I bet that answer is all over the spectrum. Let me share my experience from rural Florida. I practice in one of the 3 least populated and most economically disadvantaged counties in the state. A great place for an RHC! Well, let's start off with the roll out....we had no better success than anyone else and Florida did not have an exchange. So our patients were lining up at our door to assist with the process. When they called the help line they were told to go to the web site. OK, but they didn't have a computer or the skill set to surf the site to register. read more 



Readiness Assessment:  The go-live date for transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 will be upon us soon -- Oct. 1st, 2014!  NARHC is conducting an ICD-10 "readiness assessment" of the RHC Community. The purpose of this assessment is to gauge the current state of overall readiness among the RHC community for ICD-10 and to help inform us how we can best assist RHCs through the transition. We would greatly appreciate your participation in this ICD-10 Provider Readiness Assessment. Please CLICK HERE to take the 10 minute assessment. All responses will remain anonymous.


Training:  NARHC is offering an ICD-10-CM Hands-on Session where you can discover what you do or don't know and an Assigning Evaluation & Management 

Codes Session at the 2014 NARHC Spring Institute in San Antonio (Mar. 17-19).  

Help can also be found on the CMS website (see ad below), which has education modules that provide guidance to practices making the transition, as well as, timelines and checklists.  Don't wait!  It will be here before you know it!
NARHC Membership:

Representing our Members in Washington is NARHC's main effort. Here are just a few positive changes NARHC has brought about for RHCs in 2013...

  • NARHC has discouraged State Medicaid Waivers, which stand to hurt RHCs. To date, no State Waivers have been allowed. 
  • In one southern state, an RHC was terminated without cause. NARHC approached CMS and others, with the result that that State came back and did reinstate that RHC's license
  • NARHC went to bat for RHCs on the issue of enhanced payments provided by physicians. If physicians are providing non-RHC services (i.e. vaccines for children & visits to the hospital), those services should be eligible for enhanced payments. The State did an about face after NARHC approached them. This resulted in thousands of dollars of increased revenue to the provider based organization.
  • CMS asked NARHC to preview the changes they intended to make to the RHC manual. We made multiple suggestions for improvement and the result was a much better RHC manual. read more
NARHC 2014 Spring Institute
MARCH 17-19, 2014 -- San Antonio, TX

The Spring Institute is just 2 months away!  This conference is "For and About" RHCs. Located in the beautiful Hyatt Regency Riverwalk, San Antonio, Texas!


Legislative Report: PPACA Changes in 2014 & Beyond, Compliance & HIPAA, Patient Satisfaction Surveys, Sliding Fee Scales, Civil Rights, ACOs, Accreditation & Recerts, Total Basics to Advanced: Billing/Coding/Cost Report Documentation, RHCs Working Toward PCMH Recognition, Opening a New Clinic, ICD-10-CM Hands on, E & M Coding, SORHs, Medicare Bad Debt, Billing Carve Outs & Non-RHC Hours, Stage 2 Meaningful Use, Mac Discussions, RHC Services Now & Next Year: Are You Capturing/Reporting Everything, HIT's Role in QI & Payment Reform, and more!!! 


Early Bird rates in effect until Jan. 31st!!!  Hurry! We'd love to have you!  read more 

Cost Report Errors Can Be Costly!


At the end of the annual cost reporting period, RHCs must submit a report to their Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) that includes actual allowable costs and actual visits for RHC services for the reporting period and any other information that may be required.  Cost reports are due 5 months after the close of the clinic's fiscal year.  For clinics with a standard calendar year end, the cost report is due May 31.  read more

New Healthcare Environment = New Thinking!


It's so easy to complain about the ACA and its impact on the economy, healthcare providers, etc.  However, as we are so often reminded, at least for now, "It's the law of the land."  Perhaps our time would be better invested in thinking of ways to make the problems we blame on the ACA actually work FOR our clinic, patients/customers and community. read more

Positioning Your Organization to be a Vendor/Partner

When it comes to health care reform, providers have an increasingly clearer sense of what's coming. Changes are already under-way, & payers are driving much of the overall transformation. Now health care groups have to develop the right strategies to compete in this new era, & even small to mid-sized organizations would be wise to align their initiatives and endeavors with payers. read more

2014 NHSC Loan Repayment Program

Application Cycle Deadline: Mar 20th

The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) is pleased to announce that the 2014 NHSC Loan Repayment Program application cycle is now open. The application cycle will close on March 20 at 7:30 pm ET. To help ensure that the communities with the greatest need are supported, qualified applicants working in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) with the highest scores as of January 1, 2014, will be given priority. read more

Nominations Wanted:

NARHC's annual award recognizes and honors an outstanding leader/promoter of Rural Health Clinics. Nominations are sought for an individual who has dedicated their time & talent to advancing the health & well being of others through the RHC program. Persons doing the nominating should be NARHC members, however, award recipients do not have to be members. 


This sign of our appreciation and national distinction will be awarded at the NARHC Annual Meeting in the Fall (Reno, NV - Oct. 22-24, 2014).  Nominations will be accepted through March 31st, 2014. If you know of someone worthy of our recognition, please take a moment to fill out the Nomination Form.  Questions, email or call 866-306-1961.

ACOs & HMOs: How They Differ

by M. Thomas Bagwell, M.P.A. and Judith Ortiz, Ph.D.

Lately there has been much discussion on the distinctions between HMOs and newly-forming Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). RHCs will want to be aware of these differences as they consider participating in ACOs. With the ACO emphasis on preventive care, participating physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and other health professionals will take a greater part in patient education and monitoring patient compliance. The emerging ACO model will require strong primary care partners in order to succeed. read more  

Nat'l Leaders Discuss Rural Providers' Role

In Ensuring Access to Quality Healthcare

Washington, D.C. - "Rural America is critically important-not only to people who live in small towns, but to the future of this country," said Doug O'Brien, Under Secretary for Rural Development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in his opening remarks at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., one of the many events held on National Rural Health Day on November 21st. read more

In This Issue
Quick Links
Upcoming Events
NARHC Spring Institute
March 17-19, 2014
Hyatt Regency Riverwalk
San Antonio, Texas
Click here for more info.
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