American Hospital Association issued the following announcement on May 7.
Today, the American Hospital Association (AHA) commended the introduction of the Rural Emergency Medical Center (REMC) Act of 2018 (H.R. 5678) by Representatives Lynn Jenkins (R-KS), Ron Kind (D-WI) and Terri Sewell (D-AL). This bipartisan legislation would help ensure patients in rural communities maintain access to essential emergency and outpatient services by establishing a new rural facility designation under the Medicare program, allowing facilities meeting certain requirements to provide 24/7 emergency department care and other outpatient services. REMCs would be required to have established protocols to transport patients to an inpatient hospital if needed.
“The AHA applauds the introduction of the Rural Emergency Medical Center Act of 2018, and will work with Representatives Jenkins, Kind and Sewell to advance this important bipartisan policy to help stabilize access to health care in rural communities,” said Tom Nickels, Executive Vice President of the AHA. “The REMC Act is an important step toward ‘right-sizing’ the health care infrastructure in certain vulnerable communities and ensuring patient access to care: it aligns services and reimbursement with the unique circumstances of providing care in rural communities.”
The AHA’s Task Force on Ensuring Access in Vulnerable Communities issued its report in 2016, recommending Congress establish new models of care to provide vulnerable communities with options to protect and stabilize access to health care services. One of those recommendations was an emergency medical center model that would allow hospitals to continue to meet the needs of their community for emergency and outpatient services, while providing transportation to higher acuity facilities when needed. The REMC Act aligns with this recommendation.
Original source can be found here.