Lucas Cosponsors Bipartisan Legislation Providing Immediate Relief to Rural Hospitals and Providers

May 06, 2020
Health Care
Press

Cheyenne, OK – Last week, Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) cosponsored the Immediate Relief for Rural Facilities and Providers Act, introduced by Representatives Phil Roe (R-TN) and Kim Schrier (D-WA). The Immediate Relief for Rural Facilities and Providers Act provides relief to rural hospitals to help address the COVID-19 crisis with emergency mandatory grants to Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) and rural Prospective Payment System (PPS) hospitals to stabilize loss of revenue.

“Oklahoma’s rural hospitals and providers are facing unprecedented challenges as our communities combat this coronavirus. While they often provide critical, immediate care for those who call rural America home, they now face an invisible enemy who is continuing to stretch already thin supplies and limiting revenue sources during an already uncertain time,” said Congressman Lucas.

Lucas continued, “Rural hospitals and health care providers are on the frontlines keeping communities in Oklahoma safe. It’s important that our rural hospitals remain open to ensure all Americans have access to care and our providers have the resources they need in order to provide care to patients. It’s because of that reason that I’m proud to cosponsor the Immediate Relief for Rural Facilities and Providers Act. This bill wouldn’t just stabilize our rural hospitals, but it would ensure that they have the resources they need in order to keep serving our communities during this pandemic.”

The Immediate Relief for Rural Facilities and Providers Act would:

  • Provide Immediate Relief for Rural Hospitals with an emergency mandatory one-time grant to Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) and rural Prospective Payment System (PPS) hospitals equaling $1,000 per patient day for three months.
  • Provide Stabilization for Rural Hospitals with a one-time, emergency grant for CAH and rural PPS hospitals equaling the total reimbursement received for services for three months to stabilize the loss of revenue.
  • Encourage Hospital Coordination with a 20% increase in Medicare reimbursement for any patient in a rural hospital using the swing bed program to incentivize freeing up capacity in larger, overcrowded hospitals.
  • Provide Stabilization and Relief for Providers with an emergency, one-time grant for all providers and ambulatory surgery centers equal to their total payroll from January 1 – April 1, 2019.
  • Provide Funding for Physicians and Providers by authorizing the Small Business Administration to provide low interest loans to providers and ambulatory surgery centers at a 0.25% interest rate that will not accrue until two years after the COVID-19 pandemic has ended.

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