Rural Advocacy and Policy

America’s rural hospitals are committed to serving their communities and ensuring local access to high-quality, affordable health care. The AHA is working to ensure federal policies and regulations are updated for 21st century innovation and care delivery, and new resources are invested in rural communities to protect access.

On this page, you can find our most up to date rural advocacy agenda, our rural report, the latest AHA regulatory advisories, comment letters, fact sheets and more.
 

Learn More About the Rural Health Advisory Committee

 


Fighting for the interests of rural hospitals and the communities they serve. The AHA is steadfastly working with Congress and the Administration to enact policies to support rural hospitals. We are also aggressively pursuing a public policy environment that will protect access to care, advance innovation, and invest new resources in rural communities.
View our progress against our Rural Hospital Advocacy Agenda through June 1, 2023.

 

Featured Resources 

2024 AHA Rural Hospital Advocacy Agenda
Rural hospitals and health systems are committed to ensuring local access to high-quality, affordable health care. However, these hospitals continue to experience ongoing challenges that jeopardize their ability to provide local access to care and essential services. These include continued workforce shortages, emerging challenges posed by commercial and Medicare Advantage plans, soaring costs of providing care, severe underpayment by Medicare and Medicaid, and an overwhelming regulatory burden.

The AHA continues to work with Congress and the Administration to enact policies to support rural hospitals. We also are working to support a public policy environment that will protect access to care, advance innovation and invest new resources in rural communities.

Analysis: Hospitals and Health Systems Are Critical to Preserving Access to Care for Rural Communities
Hospitals and health systems play critical roles in preserving access to care for patients in rural America. They have increasingly stepped up to fill voids in access to care by reinvesting through access points like hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs). These sites of care provide essential services for rural and low-income communities. Oftentimes, hospitals have been a lifeline for struggling rural physician practices — helping to keep their doors open. HOPDs, meanwhile, have remained convenient high-quality key points of access for patients with more complex care needs

Rural Hospitals: Community Cornerstones Facing Perilous Threats to Care Infographic 
Millions of people living in rural areas depend on their community’s hospital as an important — and often the only — source of local care. Rural hospitals provide care close to home and serve as economic anchors in the areas they serve. But they face major challenges, and further federal support is needed to ensure access.

Special Bulletin: Rural Emergency Hospitals New Provider Type Effective Jan. 1
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released more information on how rural hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) can apply for conversion to an REH.

Survey Brief: Drug Companies Reduce Patients’ Access to Care by Limiting 340B Community Pharmacies 
The results of this survey add to the growing body of literature illustrating the harmful impacts that drug companies’ actions are having on 340B patients and providers.


 

 

 

                        Rural Voices Video