Clinic business

Miller-Meeks seeks new federal designation for Iowa clinic to ensure continued services

Rep. Miller-Meeks

According to US Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA).

CMS is developing guidelines for Rural Emergency Hospital (REH) designations established under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 that allow rural hospitals to choose the right size of their healthcare infrastructure while maintaining essential medical services for their communities, according to an Oct. 5 letter Rep. Miller-Meeks and U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) were sent to CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure.

Legislators are asking CMS for assurances that the Blessing Health Keokuk Clinic in Keokuk, Iowa, which recently closed, is eligible for future REH designation, and requested that CMS clarify whether a rural hospital is eligible to become a REH if he fulfilled the required conditions. eligibility requirements on Dec. 27, 2020, but has since closed or started the process of closing before REH’s effective date of Jan. 1, 2023, according to their letter.

To be eligible to become a REH, a facility must have been a Critical Access Hospital (CAH) or a rural hospital with fewer than 50 beds as of December 27, 2020, the date of enactment. The WER gives rural hospitals that can no longer support inpatient services the flexibility to continue providing vital services that meet the needs of their community, the lawmakers wrote.

“Keokuk community leaders are keen to have their hospital eligible in the future to become an WER,” they wrote. “Although the community has not made a final decision on the creation of an WER, we would like to know the federal regulatory obstacles for the hospital and the community.”

According to lawmakers, access to emergency and primary health care services is a fundamental quality of life issue for communities of all sizes.

“We encourage CMS to ensure that communities, including Keokuk, have the opportunity to establish an WER to maintain essential medical services and contribute to economic growth,” they wrote.