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REPS. REED, SEWELL INTRODUCE RURAL HOSPITAL SUPPORT ACT

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Washington, March 15, 2021 | comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Representatives Tom Reed and Terri Sewell announced the introduction of the bipartisan Rural Hospital Support Act, legislation to extend and modernize critical federal programs that rural hospitals rely on to properly serve their communities. This includes renewing the Medicare-dependent Hospital (MDH) and Low Volume Adjustment programs, as well as updating Medicare reimbursement formulas for Sole Community Hospitals (SCHs) and MDHs.

"In far too many rural communities across New York, there is increasingly limited access to essential medical treatments and hospital services," said Rep. Tom Reed. "We must act to ensure the rural hospitals that currently act as lifelines for underserved communities have the full resources they deserve to continue providing quality care. Our bipartisan legislation includes a number of common-sense provisions to expand healthcare access and bolster the rural health safety net."

"I have seen up close the devastating consequences of historic disinvestment in Alabama’s rural hospitals that have only been made worse by my state’s failure to expand Medicaid," said Rep. Terri Sewell. "The Rural Hospital Support Act is a critical step toward stabilizing our rural hospitals during this COVID-19 pandemic by updating several key federal programs that will help provide critical funding for rural hospitals across our country and ensure health care is accessible to every American."

"Rural hospitals are essential access points for care, economic anchors for communities and the backbone of our nation’s rural public health infrastructure. These hospitals have maintained their commitment to ensuring local access to high-quality, affordable care during the pandemic and beyond, in spite of unprecedented financial and clinical challenges over the last year," said Tom Nickels, Executive Vice President of the American Hospital Association. "We applaud Reps. Reed and Sewell for their leadership in introducing the Rural Hospital Support Act, which will help keep the doors open at rural hospitals and allow them to continue serving their local communities during this time of sustained financial pressure and historic changes in care delivery."

“St. James Hospital has benefited greatly from the Low Volume Hospital program since its inception. I fully support extending this program permanently and sincerely appreciate Congressman Reed’s support,” said Bryan O’Donovan, President & CEO of the UR Medicine St. James Hospital.

In New York’s 23rd District, this bill would help health care providers and the communities they serve, including Ira Davenport Memorial Hospital, Jones Memorial Hospital, St. James Hospital, Westfield Memorial Hospital, Brooks-TLC Hospital System, Cayuga Medical Center, and Olean General Hospital.

The Rural Hospital Support Act is available here. 

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