Burgess and Cassidy unveil bill to expand technical support for physicians in small rural practices

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U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and U.S. Representative Michael Burgess (R-TX) on February 2 introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to expand a technical support program for clinicians in small practices participating in a federal program of rural health care.

“Small health care providers in rural and underserved areas don’t have the large administrative staff to deal with complex Medicare reporting requirements,” said Senator Cassidy. “This legislation supports small doctors so they can focus on providing the best quality care to their communities.”

The Small, Underserved, and Rural Practice (SURS) Support Program Expansion Act of 2022, S. 3557/HR 6576, is co-sponsored by Senator Cassidy and Rep. Burgess in each house. US Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) and US Representative Peter Welch (D-VT) are the sponsors of the bill.

If signed into law, the SURS expansion law would reauthorize the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services technical assistance initiative for clinicians in small practices participating in the SURS program, which is scheduled to end Feb. 15 without action from the Congress to extend it.

“Our healthcare heroes have put everything on the line throughout this pandemic,” Rep. Burgess said. “We have a responsibility to support them in every way possible.”

The congressman noted that the SURS program has been particularly successful in providing the technical support needed to navigate reporting requirements for rural and underserved physicians who want to transition to value-based care.

“We need to provide that support to physicians who want to modernize their models of care,” Rep. Burgess said.

The SURS Extension Act is endorsed by the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Home Care Medicine, American Medical Association, American Osteopathic Association, Alliant Health Solutions, Altarum, Civitas Networks for Health, Colorado Medical Society, the Medical Group Management Association, MetaStar Inc., the National Coalition on Health Care, and many other companies and organizations.

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