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

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (09/06/2006)

Health Care Access and Rural Equity (H-CARE) Act of 2006 - Amends title XVIII (Medicare) of the Social Security Act with respect to: (1) the Medicare disproportionate share hospital (DSH) adjustment for rural hospitals; (2); payment for clinical laboratory tests furnished by critical access hospitals; (3) rebasing for sole community hospitals; (4) establishment of a rural community hospital program; (5) extension of the Medicare rural hospital hold harmless provision under the prospective payment system (PPS) for hospital outpatient department services; (6) coverage of marriage and family therapist services and mental health counselor services under Medicare part B (Supplementary Medical Insurance); (7) permanent treatment of certain physician pathology services under Medicare; (8) extension of the Medicare incentive payment program for a physician scarcity area; (9) proportional representation of interests of rural areas on the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission; and (10) additional payments for providers furnishing ambulance services in rural areas and prompt payment of clean claims by Medicare prescription drug plans and MedicareAdvantage-Prescription Drug (MA-PD) plans under the Medicare part D (Voluntary Prescription Drug Benefit Program).

Amends the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 to extend: (1) certain Medicare hospital wage index reclassifications and disregarding hospital reclassifications for purposes of group reclassifications; (2) Medicare reasonable costs payments for certain clinical diagnostic laboratory tests furnished to hospital patients in certain rural areas; and (3) the temporary Medicare payment increase for home health services furnished in a rural area.

Amends the Public Health Service Act to: (1) authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services to award competitive grants to eligible entities in rural areas for purchase and enhanced utilization of qualified health information technology systems; (2) establish a capital infrastructure revolving loan program and a Rural Health Quality Advisory Commission; and (3) provide for delta rural disparities and health systems development.