Bill introduced to establish new rural medical center model

The Rural Emergency Medical Center (REMC) Act (H.R. 5678) was introduced in the U.S. House on Monday by Reps. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS), Ron Kind (D-WI) and Terri Sewell (D-AL). The bipartisan bill would create a new rural designation under the Medicare program for a 24/7 emergency department with enhanced reimbursement.

Bill highlights include:

  • Establishes a new rural facility designation under the Medicare program: Rural Emergency Medical Center.
  • Allows critical access hospitals and prospective payment system hospitals with 50 or fewer beds to convert to a 24/7 emergency department.
  • REMCs would provide 24/7 emergency care and other outpatient services (e.g., observation, diagnostic and telehealth).
  • Post-acute care could be provided in a separately licensed skilled nursing facility unit.
  • REMC reimbursement would be the combination of the Medicare outpatient prospective payment system rate for services and a fixed facility fee payment.
  • REMCs would be required to provide transportation to an inpatient hospital, when needed.

Click here to read an overview of the legislation.