Liberty Place, Suite 700
325 Seventh Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004-2802
(202) 638-1100 Phone

Thursday, May 22nd 2003

Dear Senator:

On behalf of the American Hospital Association's more than 5,000 member hospitals, health systems, networks and other providers of care, I am writing to thank you for voting to include in the Senate-passed conference report of the "Jobs and Growth Tax Act of 2003" Medicare provisions aimed at helping rural hospitals.

As you have recognized, we must preserve the viability of rural hospitals - the critical source of health care for rural America.  These providers often are disproportionately and adversely affected by changes in Medicare payment because they are more dependent on Medicare for total revenue.  In fact, almost two-thirds of rural hospitals have negative Medicare margins - a concern that must be addressed this year.

Your commitment to provide needed funds to these facilities is recognized and appreciated by our membership, including your stand that hospitals need more, not less, assistance.  We look forward to working with you to ensure enactment of legislation that will help ensure the financial stability of rural hospitals and the communities they support.  Again, thank you for your commitment to America's senior citizens, and the hospitals and health care providers that care for them.


Rick Pollack
Executive Vice President

This letter was sent to all Senators except the following: Boxer, Clinton, Corzine, Ensign, Feinstein, Kennedy, Lautenberg, Bill Nelson, Reed, Sarbanes, Schumer, and Voinovich

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