Tell your Member of Congress to protect rural hospitals in today's floor debate
Today, on National Rural Health Day, the House of Representatives will debate the devastating impact of proposals to cut hospital funding as part of deficit reduction plans. These draconian cut proposals are disproportionately harmful to rural hospitals and will result in rural hospital closures, hurting patient access to care and the rural economy. Your action is needed now to contact your Member of Congress and urge him/her to speak out on the House Floor against rural hospital cuts.
Rep. Buerkle (NY) called for this special order and Dr. Benishek (MI) will be participating in the special order and highlighting the needs of rural hospitals. Please contact your Members and ask them to participate in this meeting and protect rural hospitals from proposed cuts.
Tell your Member to speak out on the House Floor to protect rural hospitals because:
- RURAL CUTS DON’T SAVE MONEY: Caring for patients in rural facilities is far more economic than providing care in urban settings. In fact, rural patients cost less to treat in eight of the nine CMS regions. If cuts are made to rural hospitals, causing many to close, rural Americans will be forced to travel greater distances to receive more expensive care.
- RURAL CUTS HARM VULNERABLE POPULATIONS: Rural hospitals are vital access points for rural residents and seniors; rural seniors are older, sicker, and poorer than their urban counterparts
- RURAL CUTS WILL FORCE RURAL HOSPITALS TO CLOSE: Currently more than 41% of Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) operate at a net financial loss. Cuts of even 1% in Medicare reimbursement rates will put 50% of all CAHs into the red, inevitably causing hospital doors to close.
- HOSPITAL CLOSURES DEVASTATE THE RURAL ECONOMY: Hospital closures will devastate local rural economies.
- RURAL CUTS WILL FORCE RURAL AMERICANS TO LOSE ACCESS TO CARE: If rural hospitals close, these vital access points to health care are likely lost forever. The facilities will likely never be replaced because of the access to capital and regulatory hurdles to start a new hospital.
- CONGRESS CREATED RURAL PAYMENTS TO MAINTAIN ACCESS TO CARE: Congress itself created the special payment structures for rural hospitals to stop the flood of hospital closures in the 1980s and early 1990s.