What Can Possibly Be Accomplished During 2018 Lame Duck Session of Congress?

Congress left many issues undone for the 16-days scheduled in the legislative calendar after the 2018 midterm elections, known as the lame duck session of Congress. Below are some of those remaining issues. FY 2019 Appropriations Bill Congress enacted 5 (of the total 12) annual FY 2019 appropriations bills prior to the beginning of the…

Federal Budget Changes Coming. Is Your Organization Ready?

No matter the outcome of the upcoming mid-term elections there is an important policy issue that will take center stage early in the coming 116th Congress.  Its an issue that everyone knows Congress must begin to address and its an issue that could impact everyone’s favorite federal program — the federal debt and growing federal…

Cansler Keynotes Annual Conference for Tennessee Farm Bureau Presidents

“Tim Cansler’s behind the scenes Washington knowledge on agricultural and farm issues makes him an excellent choice for hearing the “rest of the story” about current Washington happenings. His agricultural and Farm Bureau background provide a solid foundation and understanding of the issues important to farmers.” Jeff Aiken President Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation Cansler Consulting,…

US House Ready For “Cures Agenda.”


U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) Chairman, U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce ready for Cures Agenda.

Is Your Healthcare Organization Ready?

According to the World Health Organization in 2011, the U.S. spent more on health care per capita ($8,608), and more on health care as percentage of its GDP (17.2%), than any other nation. Moreover, last year Bloomberg released a study that ranked the efficiency of the U.S. healthcare system 46th among 48 countries.…

Healthcare Strategic Plan 2014-18 Due Soon

img-cdcLogoHeaderLeadership in Preventative Healthcare: HHS Strategic Plan 2014-18 Due Soon

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 75% of U.S. healthcare costs goes to the treatment of chronic diseases. The most common of these chronic diseases include heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, obesity and arthritis.  In fact, each year 7 out of 10 deaths among U.S. citizens are caused by chronic diseases. Heart disease, cancer and stroke account for half of all deaths annually.

House May Eliminate Risk Corridor in Debt Ceiling Deal?

iStock_000028142224SmallThe debt ceiling was suspended through February 7 under an agreement struck in October between Congressional Republicans and President Obama. Beyond February 7 U.S. Treasury will use accounting measures to ensure the U.S. remains under the debt ceiling.

For months President Obama has drawn a hard line saying he will not engage in legislative bargaining when it comes to increasing the U.S. borrowing authority. But, Congressional Republicans have been spending a lot of time lately developing ideas on how to leverage the debt limit increase and extract concessions from the White House. They may have an issue that will be an ultimate test.…

Rural Hospitals:Headed Over the Fiscal Cliff?

The Next Step is a Doozy!

Given the U.S.’ $10 trillion debt, future federal budget austerity and the (2010) enactment (and recent Supreme Court decision about the tax provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA),) talk in Washington and around the country continues to focus on how to implement policy measures that avoid sending the U.S. over a “fiscal cliff“.

Clearly, in order to correct our current fiscal path, major policy changes will be needed to beneficial programs important to many Americans, including those living in rural areas. Among the top concerns are continuing and improving healthcare in rural areas where hospitals rely heavily on Medicare reimbursement rates. Medicare rates that cannot continue at current levels.

Rural Hospitals March on Washington

Rural Medical Facilities Investment and Improvement Act, RMFIIA, lobbying, lobbyistsRural Hospitals March on Washington Set For End of July

The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) has scheduled a “March for Rural Hospitals” in Washington, D.C. on July 30-31 as struggling hospitals across the nation’s rural landscape attempt to literally keep their doors open to service the 60 million Americans living in rural communities.

Two major issues for NRHA are: A.) funding for Medicare Dependent Hospitals (MDHs) and B.) the rural low-volume adjustment Medicare payments that are set to expire October 1.…

Bipartisan Support Needed to Improve Rural Healthcare Facilities

With most rural healthcare facilities built under the Hill-Burton Act of 1946, many are in critical need of upgrades or replacement to deliver 21st century health care throughout rural America.  Meeting increasing healthcare demands including preventative, palliative and other care services are becoming impossible to provide with limited financial resources and antiquated facilities.  And, while…

P4 Medicine: Revolutionizing Healthcare in America

Before P4

Leading industry experts, researchers and federal lawmakers know that the current U.S. healthcare system is the largest factor that contributes to the U.S.’ current and future fiscal woes.  Healthcare costs continue to increase and demographic and other trends show increasing costs will escalate in future years.

Over the past few years Congress has attempted to fix the ailing healthcare system but those attempts have yielded few realistic results.  The Justices sitting on the nation’s highest court have decided on the constitutionality of the 2010 Affordable Care Act. In the ruling, the court upheld one of the most controversial provisions, the individual mandate requiring people to have health insurance, is permissible as a tax.

Moreover, all of this is occurring amidst a growing crisis in the availability of about 267 drugs including blood thinners, heart medications, cancer treatments, antibiotics and anesthesia.  This crisis has been growing since 2005 when about 61 drugs were in short supply.  The American Hospital Association states that 82 percent of hospitals throughout the U.S. believe these delays are life threatening.…

The Rural Medical Facility Investment & Improvement Act of 2012

Rural healthcareTo : Rural Hospital Supporters
From : Dr. Lonnie L. Hammargren, M.D.
RE : Federal Rural Hospital Legislation

Dear: Friends:

My name is Dr. Lonnie Hammargren, M.D., having been a decorated Vietnam combat physician, NASA Flight Surgeon, University Regent, Nevada’s 31st Lieutenant Governor and practicing Neurosurgeon for over 40 years, I am writing you today to discuss an important issue regarding our deteriorating rural healthcare system which has resulted in the closure of over 20% of our rural hospitals.

Anyone associated with rural healthcare knows that most of our nation’s 2000 plus rural hospitals were built under the Hill Burton Act of 1946 and surpass 50 years of age. Advancements in patient care and medical technology have outpaced these facilities’ abilities to adapt to 21st Century healthcare making them inefficiently obsolete and cost prohibitive to remodel let alone operate. Many rural hospitals are no longer able to serve their community to its fullest, requiring many rural resident’s to travel long distances to receive even basic healthcare services.…

Rural Development & The President’s Jobs Plan

Rural Development & rural healthcareDuring the President’s speech to a Joint Session of Congress on September 8, he said, “Every proposal I’ve laid out tonight is the kind that’s been supported by Democrats and Republicans in the past.”  Typically, the opposition party would be totally dismissive of such remarks, but with the U.S. economy on the ropes and a U.S. electorate demanding action to remedy it, that’s why many congressional Republicans cannot totally dismiss the remarks of the President.

Rural Healthcare: More jobs, better healthcare, $60 billion into ailing economy

Rural Healthcare60 million Americans are living in rural communities throughout the U.S. and according to Cornell University, since the 1960s, the rural population has aged more rapidly than its urban counterpart. Hospitals serving rural populations have also been aging. In fact, rural hospitals average over 50 years of age and these facilities have already out-lived their lifespan and are unable to meet the demands of modern medicine and technology.

Time to Change the Tax Code to Encourage Investment in Antiquated Rural Hospitals

Rural healthcare organizations are challenged to meet the minimum financial requirements of Local, State, or Federal assistance programs to replace aging facilities due to current debt levels and capital needed to fund their development.  Additionally, programs providing for the start-up and operational funding needed to stabilize a new facility, once built, are limited by the the already over stressed, local taxing districts. It is estimated that over 14% of rural hospitals throughout the U.S. have been lost over the past ten years and at the current pace that figure will be progressively exceeded. Simply waiting for better economic times is not an option.…