Center for Rural Health Meetings

Center for Rural Health Annual Meeting

Registration Now Available

August 22-24

St. Simons Island

May 24 Quarterly Meeting Held in Macon

The Center for Rural Health Quarterly Meeting was held May 24 at the Macon Marriott City Center.

The agenda featured an in-depth review of the 2018 Legislative Session that affects rural hospital including:

·  Micro-hospitals

·  Pharmacy Remote Order Entry

·  Provider Credentialing

·  Rural Physician Grant Program

·  Improvements to the Rural Tax Credit

·  Rural Health System Innovation Center/Health Coordination and Innovation Council

·  State Budget

The afternoon session focused on practical applications for rural hospitals to lower their employee health benefit costs. This session was requested by several CRH Board members.


* HB 769 Rural Development Council

* Certificate of Need Policy Discussion

* Practical Applications to Lower Your Employee Healthcare Costs

February Meeting Summary

Members of the Center for Rural Health converged on Macon on Tuesday, Feb. 13 for the first quarterly meeting of the year. About 60 rural health care professionals attended the event. The agenda featured an update on the current legislative session and a Rural Hospital Tax Credit Year 1 Summary.  Dr. Gary Dent and Dr. Jean Sumner from Mercer University School of Medicine were the featured presenters on resources for physicians practicing in rural markets and Mercer’s efforts to develop additional rural physicians.


Rural Legislative Updates

House Bill 769 Signed by Governor Deal, will change Qualified Rural Hospital Organization Expense Tax Credit

The Governor signed House Bill 769 on May 2, 2018.  This bill is effective on July 1, 2018 and makes changes to the Qualified Rural Hospital Organization Expense Tax Credit.  Along with other changes, this bill changes the amount of the credit from 90% of the donation to 100% of the donation.  On July 1, 2018 and provided the relevant caps have not been reached, any individual donor that made or makes a donation from January 1, 2018 until June 30, 2018 will be allowed 100% of the donation that was used to arrive at the amount of credit allowed during that period (up to $11,111 for a married filing joint taxpayer and $5,556 for all other individual taxpayers).  Also corporations will be allowed the 100% credit as well, subject to the 75% of actual tax liability limit.  The Department is working on system changes and will notify each donor accordingly provided the relevant caps are not met.  Also, on Sunday July 1, 2018 taxpayers will be able to request contributions using the new limits provided in House Bill 769.

CMS Rural Health Strategy

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has launched the agency’s first Rural Health Strategy to help improve access to high quality, affordable healthcare in rural communities. The strategy is intended to provide a proactive and strategic focus on healthcare issues across rural America to ensure the nearly one in five individuals who live in these areas have access to care that meets their needs. 

REMC Alert is Ready

Reps. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS), Ron Kind (D-WI) and Terri Sewell (D-AL) introduced the Rural Emergency Medical Center (REMC) Act of 2018 (H.R. 5678) to establish 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 in vulnerable rural communities and receive enhanced reimbursement rates. This bill aligns with the recommendation made by the AHA’s Task Force on Ensuring Access in Vulnerable Communities, which issued a report in 2016, recommending the establishment of a new Medicare designation for 24/7 emergency care facilities in rural communities, among other options. H.R. 5678 pays a fixed facility fee plus outpatient rates. 

Save the Dates


Executive Committee


Joe Ierardi

Wayne Memorial Hospital



Regional Trustees

David Sanders

Fannin Regional Hospital

Blue Ridge

Jan Gaston

Jasper Memorial Hospital


Mike Hester

Liberty Regional Medical Center


Robert Sellers

Optim Medical Center - Screven


At Large Trustees

Matt Gorman

Floyd Polk Medical Center



Lou Semrad

Jefferson Hospital



Kim Gilman

Phoebe Worth Medical Center


Payroll Deduction Calculator (password protected)
Department of Revenue Proposed Contribution Timeline
Center for Rural Health Rural Hospital Tax Credit Program EligibilityKeri Conley, Associate General Counsel &
Carie Summers, VP Healthcare Financing, Georgia Hospital Association

Eligibility Flow Chart for SB 258- Rural Hospital Tax Credit Program
Grassroots Fundraising - Patti Lyons, Executive Partner, Pride Philanthropy
Rural Hospital Tax Credit: Legal Considerations - Sarah F. Kuipers, Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP
Tax and Record Keeping for SB 258 - Jim Creamer, Partner & Bert Bennett, Partner, Draffin & Tucker
Georgia Rural Hospital Tax Credit Program (SB 258) - Audio File - C. Bert Bennett, Partner, Draffin & Tucker

Year-End Celebrating Our Success 09-07-16

Legislation enacted as part of the Balanced Budget Act (BBA) of 1997 authorized States to establish a State FLEX Program under which certain facilities participating in Medicare can become CAHS.  The following providers may be eligible to become CAHs:

  • currently participating Medicare hospitals;
  • hosptials that ceased operation after 11/29/1989; or
  • health clinics or centers (as defined by the State) that previously operated as a hospital before being downsized to a health clinic or center

For more information, click here