NRHA applauds Senate Democrats for holding rural event
Erin Mahn Zumbrun
The U.S. Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee held a Rural Summit to discuss increasing access to health care and growing the economy in rural America.
“Losing a rural hospital is a disaster, not just in terms of emergency and trauma care, but keeping and attracting businesses to the area,” said Sen. Dick Durbin (IL), one of many Senators attending the summit.
Sen. Bob Casey (PA) said rural hospitals are the largest or second largest employer in rural counties in his state.
“Rural counties have a set of substantial problems we do not want to exacerbate by cuts to Medicaid," he added.
The opioid crisis, along with recruitment, retention and reimbursement of providers were also mentioned as concerns for rural areas. Dr. Mary Wakefield, former HRSA Administrator and past NRHA President, moderated the panel on lowering health care costs and increasing coverage.
“The opioid epidemic is the worst epidemic I have ever seen,” said panelist Dr. Michael Brumage, assistant dean for public health practice and service at the West Virginia University School of Public Health.
NRHA applauds the Committee for holding this important hearing.
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