Rural Hospitals May Get Assistance Through New Bill

Rural hospitals may get help through a new bill. The Immediate Relief for Rural Facilities and Providers Act would establish a new grant program to provide needed assistance to rural hospitals.

Provisions include creating an emergency one-time grant program to Critical Access Hospitals and Prospective Payment System hospitals equaling $1,000 per patient day for three months. Additionally, the hospitals will receive a payment equaling the total reimbursement received for services for the first three months of 2019 to stabilize the loss of revenue.

It would also increase the Medicare reimbursement by 20% for patients in rural hospitals using the swing bed program to help alleviate the strain on overcrowded hospitals. A one-time emergency grant for rural health care practices and ambulatory surgery centers equal to the facility’s total payroll from January 1, 2019 to April 1, 2019 is also in the proposed bill.