Only a few weeks remain until the presidential election, the leaves are turning, and times are changing for rural healthcare.
One of the main issues facing Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) is sequestration. If implemented as planned on January 1, 2013, it will include a 2% cut to all rural hospitals, CAH reimbursement cuts, a 35% cut uncompensated care, and provider tax cuts to name a few. What do these spending cuts mean to you and your community?
While no one knows precisely what the outcome will be, we do know that if these cuts are implemented, the economic viability for the community and access to healthcare will be impacted in rural America. Some estimate that 41% of CAHs across the nation are currently operating in the red, and a 2% cut will cause these facilities to close.
How do can you fight? Get involved! Reach out and help your elected officials understand the importance of investing in rural healthcare and, by extension, the safety net as a whole. Visit the National Rural Health Association’s Grassroots Action Center to find your local elected officials, get involved in CRHC’s Policy and Legislative committee, whatever it takes to make your voice heard. In the coming weeks, we’ll be sending out our annual Legislative and Policy Priorities Survey. As a professional in the field, your input is crucial – be sure to take a few minutes to complete the survey. Your responses will be used to set CRHC’s policy priorities for the upcoming calendar year.
Don’t forget to vote and I look forward to seeing many of you at our 21st Annual Rural Health Conference next week October 25 – 26 in Colorado Springs! If you haven’t signed up it isn’t too late, simply click here to register.