Rural Specialty Hospitals Advocacy
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, HHS announced a disbursement from the Provider Relief Fund of $10 billion to almost 4,000 rural health care providers including hospitals, health clinics, and health centers. Unfortunately, this distribution left out other rural providers – specifically, long-term acute care hospitals, inpatient psychiatric facilities, and inpatient rehabilitation facilities.
TPG led the lobbying effort requesting HHS expand the existing funding payment formula for rural health care providers to include certain special rural Medicare designation hospitals, such as long-term acute care hospitals, inpatient psychiatric facilities, and inpatient rehabilitation facilities. TPG also worked to obtain funding for other providers operating in smaller non-rural communities, including suburban hospitals which are not considered rural but serve rural populations and operate with smaller profit margins and limited resources than larger hospitals.
Only 8 weeks later, HHS announced a $1 billion disbursement to 500 specialty hospitals – with payments ranging from $100,000 to $4,500,000 for rural designated providers and $100,000 to $2,000,000 for the other providers. This distribution included over $53 million for 45 hospitals in Louisiana, to cover lost revenues and the renovation of facilities to provide more access for patients and safer conditions for patients and staff alike.