Rural Hospital Closure Relief Act of 2019 ((S.3103, H.R. 5481) to Help Additional Hospitals Remain Viable

Rural hospitals are closing during this public health emergency. The Rural Hospital Closure Relief Act (S.3103H.R. 5481) would update Medicare’s “Critical Access Hospital” (CAH) designation so more rural hospitals can qualify for this financial lifeline and continue to serve their communities with quality, affordable health care services. Small hospitals are the backbone of rural communities, and often the largest employers, yet more than 120 rural hospitals have closed nationwide in the past decade, with many more hospitals operating with negative margins. The Rural Hospital Closure Relief Act is the immediate fix to help rural hospitals facing extreme strains from the COVID-19 pandemic.