There is one summary for this bill. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (07/27/2000)

Rural Health Care in the 21st Century Act of 2000 - Title I: High Technology - Amends the Public Health Service Act to direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish a High Technology Acquisition Grant and Loan program for the purpose of: (1) improving the quality of health care in rural areas through the acquisition of advanced medical technology; (2) fostering the development of described networks; (3) promoting resource sharing between urban and rural facilities; and (4) improving patient safety and outcomes through the acquisition of high technology. Authorizes appropriations.

Amends the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (BBA '97) to: (1) revise the Medicare (title XVIII of the Social Security Act (SSA)) telehealth payment methodology; (2) make other specified revisions to the telehealth program; and (3) extend telehealth coverage to certain services furnished by a physician.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) study and report to Congress on additional telehealth items and services that would be appropriate for Medicare coverage; and (2) maintain through September 30, 2003, the grant and operational phases of any ongoing Medicare telemedicine demonstration project.

Title II: Improvements in the Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) Program - Amends SSA title XVIII to revise DSH adjustments for payments to rural and urban hospitals for inpatient services.

Title III: Improvements in the Critical Access Hospital (CAH) Program - Amends SSA title XVIII with regard to payment to skilled nursing facilities for routine service costs to provide for the treatment of: (1) swing-bed services furnished by CAHs; (2) ambulance services furnished by certain CAHs; and (3) home health services furnished by certain CAHs.

Amends SSA title XVIII to: (1) direct the Secretary to designate a national agency or organization with an agreement to perform (single fiscal intermediary) functions with respect to each CAH electing to have such functions performed by such agency or organization; and (2) establish an all-inclusive payment option for outpatient CAH services.

Title IV: Outpatient Services Furnished by Rural Providers - Amends SSA title XVIII to provide for: (1) a permanent guarantee of pre-BBA' 97 payment levels for outpatient services furnished by rural hospitals; (2) repeal of the termination date for (thus permanently allowing) direct payment to a physician assistant for certain physician assistant services; (3) exclusion of rural health clinic services from the prospective payment system for skilled nursing facilities; and (4) bonus payments for rural home health agencies.

Title V: Bad Debt - Amends SSA title XIX (Medicaid) to provide for restoration of full payment for bad debts (uncollectible copayments) of qualified Medicare beneficiaries.

Title VI: National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program - Amends the Internal Revenue Code to exclude from an individual's gross income certain amounts received under the National Health Service Corps Scholarship program.

Title VII: Technical Corrections to the Balanced Budget Refinement Act of 1999 - Amends SSA title XVIII to: (1) extend the option to use rebased target amounts to all sole community hospitals; and (2) provide for supplementary medical insurance payments for the aged and disabled to CAHs for clinical diagnostic laboratory tests.