Cap Times: Tim Size: Protect rural health from the wrong surprise billing fix

Cap Times: Tim Size: Protect rural health from the wrong surprise billing fix

Preserving access to quality health care in rural parts of Wisconsin is becoming a bigger and bigger challenge. Reimbursement rates from Medicaid and Medicare that are too often below the cost of the service, provider shortages, dairy industry struggles and an aging population are some of the factors conspiring to present existential challenges to rural health care providers.

In fact, according to the University of North Carolina Center for Health Services Research, 119 rural hospitals have closed across the county since 2010. Even more disturbing, a 2016 report for the National Rural Health Association found that 700 rural hospitals were at risk of closing.

Unfortunately, despite the already fragile nature of rural health care, providers are facing a new threat in the form of legislation being considered in Congress right now.

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