Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Pilot program Trump asked for gives rural health-care providers looser rules and a chance for up-front investments

A pilot program offers rural health-care providers a chance to be part of a pilot payment model with up-front investments, Heather Landi reports for Fierce Healthcare. President Trump ordered the Department of Health and Human Services to set up such a model last week. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will choose a handful of rural communities to participate in the program in early 2021, with the program beginning next summer.

The Community Health Access and Rural Transformation model is meant to help rural providers by loosening certain regulations. "Through regulatory flexibilities, health-care providers will be able to expand telehealth to allow the beneficiary’s place of residence to be an originating site and waive certain Medicare-hospital conditions of participation to allow a rural outpatient department and emergency room to be paid as if they were classified as a hospital," Landi reports. The model also allows providers to help patients with transportation and provide gift cards for chronic-disease management.

"The CHART model will feature two options for provider participation: the community transformation track and the accountable care organization transformation track," Landi reports. "As part of the community transformation track, the Trump administration is investing up to $75 million in seed money to enable up to 15 rural communities to participate."

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