Senator John Kennedy is co-sponsoring the Rural Hospital Support Act

The potential bill would help Rural Hospitals in the U.S. with financial support
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 6:23 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Louisiana Senator John Kennedy is co-sponsoring a bill that would help financially support rural hospitals across the country. It’s called the Rural Hospital Support Act.

If it passes, Louisiana has 48 rural hospitals that could benefit. The bill would permanently extend the medicare-dependent and low-volume hospital designations that are set to expire on October 1st.

“Basically, it’s just an increase to the payments that you bill to medicare, for example, over the course of time. So you’re basically getting instead of “x” level, you’re getting “x” plus a certain percent for those particular billings,” said Blake Kramer, the Franklin Medical Center Administrator.

He says if the bill passes the money would go towards operating expenses for the year, and with the cost of everything going up the medical center could use the support.

“For us, the programs that this particular bill will support and make permeant, that amounts to $500,000 to $600,000 dollars just for our facility. This puts us in a position where we are less likely to have to make any type of immediate cuts to absorb the loss of that type of revenue.

On October 1st, the critical federal programs that keep rural hospitals financially stable are set to expire. The bill would permanently extend those programs for medicare-dependant and low-volume hospitals. The Morehouse General Hospital Marketing Director Claudia Franklin says, she’s happy Senator John Kennedy has proposed help for rural hospitals.

“Most of the time rural hospitals do get overlooked because we aren’t, I guess, providing groundbreaking research but to know that our state, the representatives, and senators care about keeping us open really means a lot,” she said.

Senator Kennedy says the bill would help provide reliable care, control costs for taxpayers, and peace of mind to rural Louisiana residents.

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