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What They Are Saying: Withdrawal of MFAR A Victory for Rural Health Care

Sep 16, 2020
Press Release

Congressman Roger Williams (R-TX-25) on Monday applauded the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw the Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Rule (MFAR) after taking into consideration the impact implementation would have on rural health providers. Williams’ bill, the MFAR Transparency Act, was introduced in July to delay the rule.

“I’m proud to have championed the MFAR Transparency Act in Congress, urging CMS to analyze the financial impacts of implementing the rule as local taxes would have been increase and we would have lost to ability to provide essential health care for thousands of patients. I stand with all of the providers who know their patients best and have had the distinct privilege of working with health systems across the great state of Texas,” said Congressman Williams. “This announcement that the Administration has decided to withdraw the MFAR is a victory for our rural and underserved areas, and I will continue relentlessly fighting for relief from unnecessary regulatory burdens. I thank Administrator Seema Verma for listening to stakeholders across our state and nation, and I look forward to our continued partnership as we serve Texans.”

Anson General Hospital (Anson, TX)
“Thank you to Congressman Williams and Congressman Burgess and the entire Texas Congressional delegation for leading on the effort for a withdrawal of the proposed MFAR Rule.  If it had been implemented,  it would have had significant damage to rural hospitals.  Just being proposed has made it difficult to impossible to responsibly plan for proper patient care,” said Nathan Staggs, CEO of Anson General Hospital.

Goodall-Witcher Healthcare
“We at Goodall-Witcher Healthcare appreciate the efforts of Representative Williams and others to bring attention to the detrimental impact that would occur as a result of this proposed regulation. We also appreciate the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for listening and being willing to admit this was a bad idea. It would have financially harmed our hospital and so many others,” said Adam Willmann, President and CEO of Goodall-Witcher Healthcare.

Baylor Scott & White Health
“We, here in Texas, are grateful and relieved to see the Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Regulation withdrawn. In the face of a global health emergency, and with historic financial loss across our industry and others, it is not the time to remove approved funding structures that draw down Medicaid dollars. As need rises on the heels of these crises, more support for Medicaid and the uninsured is needed. While we support transparency for taxpayer dollars, the proposed regulation would have done more harm than good.”

Austin Chamber of Commerce (Austin, TX)
“During this precarious time, it is vital our state retains its ability to adequately fund our community's health care needs. Retaining the MFAR rule would have been detrimental to our businesses and the taxpayers they employ. We are grateful our federal leaders have made a decision that is in the best interest of our region's hospitals at a time when so many individuals are relying on them,” said Dana Harris, VP, Federal/State Advocacy of the Austin Chamber of Commerce.

Ascension Texas
“The MFAR withdrawal will protect funding for our community's healthcare needs and ensure that we have the sustainability to serve our neighbors which is critical for Central Texas," said Andy Davis, President and CEO of Ascension Texas.

Children’s Hospital Association of Texas (CHA)
“The eight not-for-profit children’s hospitals that are members of the Children’s Hospital Association of Texas appreciate the work that Representative Williams has done to help protect the vital safety net hospitals in Texas.  While CMS may revive the regulation in the future, the children’s hospitals know that Representative Williams understands the harm that the regulation will cause among these essential providers.”

Texas Organization of Rural & Community Hospitals (TORCH)
“Reversing the financially harmful MFAR proposed regulation will give rural hospitals a chance to keep their doors open providing health care access to rural Texas. This rule could have removed as much as a fourth of the annual revenue for many rural hospitals by halting supplemental payments they receive which are intended to help keep their doors open. If not for the efforts of Representative Williams and others to stop this, it could have been a health care disaster for rural Texas. We also appreciate the White House for finally seeing the potential harm and reversing this,” said Don McBeath, Director of Government Relations for TORCH.

Texas Hospital Association (THA)
“Congressman Roger Williams has been a strong voice for Texas hospitals and health systems against the proposed Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Rule, said Ted Shaw, Texas Hospital Association President/CEO. The rule would have devastated Texas’ already fragile health care system, and we applaud Rep. Williams’ efforts that helped lead to the withdrawal of the rule.”

National Rural Health Association (NRHA)
“NRHA applauds Representative Williams for helping lead the call to terminate MFAR. If this egregious regulation would have gone into effect, it would have been devastating for rural providers. While there is more regulation that needs reform, NRHA is grateful that CMS has listened to the concerns of stakeholders and removed MFAR from their regulatory agenda,” said Alan Morgan, CEO of NRHA.

 

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Congressman Roger Williams represents the 25th Congressional District of Texas and serves as a member of the House Committee on Financial Services.

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