Changes are necessary to expand rural access to the services of physician anesthesiologists. Many states face ongoing challenges in assuring access to medical care services for citizens in rural areas. Congress has enacted a variety of incentive programs to encourage providers to practice in rural areas, including the anesthesia rural “pass-through” program.
Under the “pass-through” program, eligible hospitals may use reasonable cost-based Part A payments in lieu of the conventional Part B payments as a rural practice inducement for non-physician anesthesia providers such as anesthesiologist assistants (a type of physician assistant) and nurse anesthetists to practice in small, low-volume rural hospitals. However, under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) current interpretation of the “pass-through” program, eligible small rural hospitals are not permitted to use the “pass-through” funds to hire physician anesthesiologists.
Under H.R. 2881
, rural hospitals could expand access to physician anesthesiologist services and be able to more readily recruit and retain physician anesthesiologists who may want to serve rural communities and provide enhanced patient access to physician care.
In short, this bill would help provide under-served rural communities with safe, high-quality, physician anesthesia care.
Would you please send an email to your representative in support of H.R. 2881?