Three members of the US Senate (two Democrats and one Republican) have recently proposed the Immediate Relief for Rural Facilities and Providers Act. This is primarily a hospital event. While simply a proposal, it is important to understand the provisions, as some (or all) of these measures may eventually make their way into law, in some form. Among other items, the proposed bill includes the following:

  • Provide immediate relief for rural hospitals with an emergency mandatory one-time grant to rural hospitals equaling $1,000 per patient day for three months
  • Provide stabilization for rural hospitals with a one-time, emergency grant equaling the total reimbursement received for services for three months to stabilize the loss of revenue
  • Encourage hospital coordination with a 20% increase in Medicare reimbursement for any patient in a rural hospital using the swing bed program to incentivize freeing up capacity in larger, overcrowded hospitals
  • Provide stabilization and relief for providers with an emergency, one-time grant for all providers and ambulatory surgery centers equal to their total payroll from January 1 – April 1, 2019
  • Provide funding for physicians and providers by authorizing the Small Business Administration to provide low-interest loans to providers and ambulatory surgery centers at a 0.25% interest rate that will not accrue until two years after the COVID-19 pandemic has ended

CRI will continue to monitor these developments and will update this information if, or when, the proposed legislation is adopted. Please check often for updates.