On National Rural Health Day, Thursday, U.S. Reps. Terri Sewell, AL-07, and Carol Miller, WV-01, introduced HR6430, the Assistance for Rural Community Hospitals (ARCH) Act. This bill would provide greater financial stability for rural hospitals by extending the Medicare-dependent hospital program and Medicare low-volume hospital payments for five years each. The bill would also require a GAO report to ensure Medicare rural hospital designations are bolstering rural health care.
“We in Alabama have seen our rural hospitals come under immense strain, threatening to make it harder for our communities to access the services they need,” said Rep. Sewell, lead Democratic sponsor. “This legislation is about providing stability to our rural hospitals so that they can keep their doors open and continue serving patients. There is no time more befitting than National Rural Health Day to shine a spotlight on the needs of our rural hospitals. I thank Congresswoman Miller for her partnership and urge my colleagues to join us in supporting this legislation.”
“Hospitals in rural communities should have access to the same resources as any other hospital to keep their doors open and administer efficient and quality care,” said Rep. Miller, lead Republican sponsor. “In the midst of rising health care prices and medical workforce shortages, the ARCH act will provide Medicare-dependent and Medicare low-volume hospitals with much needed financial stability. I was pleased to introduce this bill on National Rural Health Day and bring awareness to the concerns rural patients and hospitals are experiencing. I am grateful to Congresswoman Sewell for joining with me on this issue as we champion rural hospitals and provide them with the support they need to serve our communities.”
Reps. Sewell and Miller previously introduced the Assistance for Rural Community Hospitals (ARCH) Act in August of 2022.
Bill text can be found here.