Congress yesterday passed a farm bill conference report that authorizes assistance for rural hospitals to refinance a debt obligation as an eligible loan or loan guarantee if the assistance would help preserve access to health services in a rural community and meaningfully improve the financial position of the hospital. The provision would require rural hospitals seeking refinancing to meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s financial feasibility and adequacy of security requirements. Among other rural health care provisions, the Secretary of Agriculture would set aside at least 20 percent of funding for Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grants to address substance use disorders in rural areas. The legislation also would increase annual funding for the program to $82 million for fiscal years 2019 through 2023. The AHA will provide more information to members as it becomes available. The president is expected to sign the bill as early as next week.

Related News Articles

Headline
Nearly 70 organizations, including the AHA, today urged congressional leaders to advance the House-passed Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness…
Perspective
As our country works to expand health coverage and improve access to care, “Medicare for All” is getting a lot of attention. There are many different flavors…
Headline
Reps. Terri Sewell, D-Ala., and John Katko, R-N.Y., today introduced the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2019 (H.R. 1763) that would add up to 15,…
Headline
Legislative proposals for a Medicare public option could negatively affect patient access to care and significantly reduce payments to hospitals, AHA Executive…
Headline
The House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee today held a hearing on the president’s fiscal year 2020 budget request for the Department of Health and…
Headline
President Trump today submitted to Congress his budget request for fiscal year 2020.