Senate resolution recognizes 'essential' role of rural hospitals

AHA News Now

Sens. Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) today introduced a resolution calling access to rural hospitals and other health care providers "essential to the survival and success of communities." More than 60 million people "rely on rural hospitals and other providers as critical access points to health care," the resolution notes. In addition to providing "vital care" to patients, rural providers "are integral to the local economies and are one of the largest types of employers in rural areas of the United States," the measure states. In a letter of support for the resolution, AHA Executive Vice President Rick Pollack said, "Because of their small size, modest assets and financial reserves, and higher percentages of Medicare patients, rural hospitals disproportionately rely on government payments and unfortunately, Medicare payment systems often fail to recognize the unique circumstances of small, rural hospitals. AHA has and will continue to advocate for appropriate payment on behalf of small and rural hospitals and critical access hospitals."

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