Rural Health Bills

AHA Position

Approximately 57 million Americans live in rural areas and depend upon the hospitals in their communities. Remote geographic location, small size, limited workforce, physician shortages and often constrained financial resources pose a unique set of challenges for rural hospitals. Rural hospitals’ patient mix also makes them more reliant on public programs and, thus, particularly vulnerable to Medicare and Medicaid payment cuts.

Medicare and other federal programs must account for the special circumstances of rural communities. The AHA focuses on protecting vital funding, securing the future of existing special rural payment programs – including the critical access hospital (CAH), sole community hospital (SCH), Medicare-dependent hospital (MDH) and rural referral center (RRC) programs – and relieving regulatory burden. With congressional budget crises a continued threat in Washington, the continued viability of small and rural health care providers remains in jeopardy.

Key Priorities

Hospitals are transforming the way health care is delivered in their communities, working with other providers and community leaders to build a continuum of care to make sure every individual gets the right care at the right time in the right setting. In order to continue this transformation, and to provide patients with the access to care they need and expect, hospitals need a supportive and modernized public policy environment. Below are some of the key areas of focus for AHA’s advocacy agenda.

Rural Hospital Advocacy Agenda

The AHA supports policies and legislation that enable rural hospitals to care for their communities. Read some key areas of focus for our 2018 Rural Advocacy Agenda.

 

Related Resources

Factsheet
Public
The AHA Task Force on Ensuring Access in Vulnerable Communities examined ways in which the access to and delivery of care could be improved. This strategy –…
Testimony
Public
AHA statement before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology: Realizing the Benefits of Rural Broadband: Challenges and…
Bibliography/Link Page
The Small/Rural Section Council meets three times a year and actively advises the AHA on advocacy positions, public policy issues, and member servi
Webinar Recordings
Member
Held June 12, 2018 Please join the AHA rural team for a special call to discuss recently introduced legislation to allow existing critica
Other Resources
This issue of the Small or Rural Update reviews the AHA rural advocacy agenda, federal rule making, national policy priorities and tools and resources for…
Testimony
Public
AHA statement before the Senate Finance Committee on "Rural Health Care in America: Challenges and Opportunities."