Rural health care providers receive $7.5 billion in relief funds

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Rural health care providers receive $7.5 billion in relief funds

The Department of Health and Human Services said Tuesday it has begun disbursing billions of dollars to rural health care providers to help ease the financial pressure brought on by the coronavirus pandemic and help hospitals stay open.

The agency is giving $7.5 billion to more than 40,000 health care providers in every state and six U.S. territories through the American Rescue Plan, a massive relief bill Congress passed in March. The agency said the infusion of funds would help offset the increased expenditure and revenue deficit among rural physicians during the pandemic.

Health and Human Services Secretary Javier Becerra said COVID-19 made clear the importance of timely access to quality medical care, especially in rural America.

“There are many costs when it comes to rural providers, which are sometimes different from what you see with urban providers or suburban providers,” Mr Becerra said in an interview. “And many times, they are unique only to rural providers.”

Rural physicians serve a disproportionate number of patients covered by Medicaid, Medicare or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, who often have more complex medical needs. Many rural hospitals were already struggling before the pandemic, and 21 have closed since the beginning of 2020, according to data from the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at the University of North Carolina.

Under the program, each eligible provider serving at least one Medicare, Medicaid or CHIP beneficiary in a rural part of the country will receive at least $500. Payouts will range up to $43 million with an average payout of $170,700. They are based on the number of claims submitted by a provider for rural patients involved in these programs from January 2019 to September 2020.

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Rural America is home to some of the nation’s oldest and sickest patients, many of whom were affected by the pandemic.

The new funding is supposed to help rural hospitals stay open longer and improve the care they provide, something the Biden administration has already done to help improve access to health care in rural communities. He has made efforts, which he considers important for his goal. Addressing inequalities in access to care.

Money can be used towards salary, recruitment or retention; supplies such as N95 or surgical masks; equipment such as ventilators or improved filtration systems; capital investments; information technology; and other expenses related to preventing, preparing for or responding to COVID-19.

The administration provided funding for coronavirus testing for uninsured people through the US Rescue Plan, reimbursement for the COVID Vaccine Administration, improved access to telehealth services in rural areas, and through a grant program for health care providers serving Medicare patients. Billions of dollars allocated. Federal aid has also been allocated to health care institutions during the pandemic under the Provider Relief Fund, a $175 billion program that has drawn criticism for giving so much money to the wealthiest hospitals.

On Monday, Vice President Kamala Harris said the administration would invest $1.5 billion to address the shortage of health care workers in disadvantaged tribal, rural and urban communities. The money – which will provide scholarships and pay loans for physicians who are committed to taking up jobs in underserved areas – is coming on the heels of a report by the White House’s COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force, which Made recommendations on inequalities in health. The care system can be fixed.

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