The Immediate Relief for Rural Facilities and Providers Act of 2020 provides relief to rural hospitals to help address the COVID-19 crisis by using an emergency mandatory one-time grant to Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) and rural Prospective Payment System (PPS) hospitals which equals $1,000 per patient day for three months to stabilize loss of revenue.
The legislation will increase Medicare reimbursement by 20 percent for patients in rural hospitals using the swing bed program to increase compacity in overcrowded hospitals.
It also provides a one-time grant for all providers and ambulatory surgery centers (ASC) equal to their total payroll from January 1 – April 1, 2019, and authorizes the Small Business Administration to provide low interest loans to providers and ASCs at a 0.25% interest rate that will not begin accruing until two years after the coronavirus pandemic has ended.
Reps. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn.) and Kim Schrier, M.D. (D-Wash.) released the following statement after introducing H.R.6365, the Immediate Relief for Rural Facilities and Providers Act of 2020 with Reps. Larry Bucshon, M.D. (R-Ind.); Rep. Ami Bera, M.D. (D-Calif.); Buddy Carter (R-Ga.); Rep. Raul Ruiz, M.D. (D-Calif.); Brian Babin, D.D.S. (R-Texas); Terri Sewell (D-Ala.); Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-Texas); Mark Green, M.D. (R-Tenn.); Neal Dunn, M.D. (R-Fla.); and Paul Gosar D.D.S. (R-Ariz.):
“Hospitals and health care providers in rural America already struggle to keep their doors open, and the COVID-19 crisis is only making that harder. During a pandemic, it is critical our rural hospitals remain open to ensure all Americans – no matter where they live – have access to quality health care. We must also ensure individual doctors and small group medical practices are able to weather the storm and reopen once this crisis ends. I am proud to introduce this legislation to provide immediate relief to rural health facilities and providers so they have the resources needed to care for patients during and after the COVID-19 crisis,” said Rep. Roe.
“Rural hospitals play a critical role in our health care system to ensure everyone has access to care. Right now, they are facing unprecedented challenges and urgently need the resources to respond. This bipartisan legislation will get the funding needed to support rural hospitals and providers that are on the frontline of this pandemic. We cannot lose our rural hospitals,”said Rep. Schrier.
The Senate version of the Immediate Relief for Rural Facilities and Providers Act of 2020 was introduced by Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) on March 21, 2020. Read the full text of the House bill here.