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Will Congress Abolish the 96-Hour Rule?

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, May 28, 2014

There are rumblings that federal lawmakers may be willing to repeal Medicare's burdensome rule requiring physicians in critical access hospitals to make an educated guess that the patients they're admitting will be either discharged or transferred in less than four days.

I am loathe to write about pending legislation in Congress.

The bills with the most promise for healthcare providers usually are ignored or tabled or lost in some silly legislative procedure or held hostage for some unrelated reason or session adjourns with hopes dashed and no action taken.

Lawmakers who are occasionally called into accountability for doing nothing lament not passing a bill that would have helped rural providers in their states and blame the impasse on the other party.

Then they go home to raise money and get reelected and start the entire process all over again.

Cynical, you say?

Have you ever heard of the SGR permanent fix?

Still, there are rumblings coming out of Washington, DC that lawmakers may be willing to repeal Medicare's burdensome and staggeringly dumb 96-hour rule that requires physicians in critical access hospitals to make an educated guess that the patients they're admitting will be either discharged or transferred in less than four days.

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