CMS releases rural health strategy

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently released the agency’s strategy to promote high-quality health care for all rural Americans, address the unique economics of providing rural health care, and bring a rural focus to CMS healthcare delivery and payment reforms. Developed by the agency’s Rural Health Council with stakeholder input, the strategy calls for CMS to “apply a rural lens” to its programs and policies; improve access to care through provider engagement and support; advance telehealth and telemedicine; empower patients to make decisions about their care; and leverage partnerships with stakeholders to achieve the stated goals. CMS said the strategy also aligns with the goals of the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Office of Rural Health Policy and other administration priorities, such as reducing regulatory burden and combating the opioid epidemic.

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