Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY) and Congressman Peter Welch (D-VT) announced today that the budget agreement passed by the House yesterday included a six-month extension strongly advocated by both Members to fund the federal low-volume and Medicare-dependent hospitals programs. Funding for this program, which helps rural hospitals provide quality health care in the communities they serve, had expired at the end of September.
"Our rural hospitals will see a much-needed extension in funding as part of the bipartisan budget agreement," Congressman Reed said. "It's important we protect and care for our rural hospitals and the jobs they support, just as we rely on them for high-quality care close to home. I am pleased this policy was included and will continue to partner with the rural hospitals moving into next year to ensure long-term program funding."
"Vermont's rural hospitals have a strong reputation for providing high quality health care to seniors in the communities they serve," Congressman Welch said. "This legislation will make sure our hospitals continue to serve them in the short term."
Earlier this year, Congressmen Reed and Welch had introduced the bipartisan Rural Hospital Access Act (HR 1787) which reauthorizes for one year the Medicare-dependent hospital and enhanced low-volume hospital programs.
New York's 23rd Congressional District has three Medicare-dependent hospitals: Corning Hospital, Ira Davenport and St. Joseph's of Elmira, and three low-volume hospitals: Jones Memorial, Ira Davenport, and St. James Mercy. Vermont has two Medicare-dependent hospitals: Southwestern Vermont Medical Center and Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, and three low-volume hospitals: Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, Northwestern Medical Center and Central Vermont Medical Center