Kentucky governor signs bill to boost funding for rural healthcare providers

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear signed into law a measure that will boost Medicaid payment rates for outpatient procedures, legislation designed to protect rural hospitals in the state.

The new law requires the state's Department of Medicaid Services to analyze outpatient services and provide additional payment to hospitals. 

Additionally, the law allows Medicaid to create a hospital rate increase program for patients enrolled in its fee-for-service program to pay up to the upper Medicaid payment limit.

The Kentucky Hospital Association supports the law, according to a March news release from the governor's office. 

"Through and by the adoption of HB 75 into law, this is truly a lifesaving action. This will not only save hospital jobs and services but also imagine what would happen to businesses, especially in rural communities, that depend on local hospital purchases and wages to support their businesses," Pikeville (Ky.) Medical Center CEO Donovan Blackburn said in the release. "This is a significant piece of legislation at a time of our state's greatest need in order to preserve the quality of care for all Kentuckians."

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