CHA News Article

Rural Hospital Access Act Introduced in Senate

U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) have introduced the Rural Hospital Access Act of 2012 (S. 2620), supported by CHA. The act would reauthorize the Medicare-dependent hospital (MDH) program and provide a one-year extension to Sept. 30, 2013, of the enhanced low-volume Medicare adjustment for prospective payment system hospitals included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Prior to ACA, the low-volume adjustment was so narrow that only two to three hospitals qualified each year. The improved low-volume adjustment better accounts for the relationship between cost and volume; helps level the playing field for low-volume providers; and sustains and improves access to care in rural areas. California has two MDH-designated hospitals.