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 strategyis 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.