AHA letter backs Medicare programs extension bill for rural hospitals

The American Hospital Association is throwing support behind the Assistance for Rural Community Hospitals Act, which would extend for five additional years the Medicare-dependent hospital program and enhanced low-volume Medicare adjustment.

In a Nov. 27 letter to Reps. Carol Miller, R-W.Va., and Terri Sewell, D-Ala., the letter breaks down the economic and care access backbone that rural hospitals provide to communities, despite facing continued financial and clinical challenges.

"Your legislation 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," AHA Senior Vice President of Advocacy and Political Affairs Lisa Kidder Hrobsky wrote in the letter on behalf of the association.

The ARCH Act, introduced by Ms. Miller and Ms. Sewell on Nov. 16, would provide stronger rural hospital financial stability and also require a Government Accountability Office report to ensure Medicare rural hospital designations are strengthening rural healthcare. 

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