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Hartzler Advocates for Rural Hospitals Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

April 1, 2020
Press Release

HARRISONVILLE, MO – This week, Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) called on the Department of Health and Human Services to greatly bolster critical funding and assistance to rural hospital and health care providers in the face of the coronavirus. In a bipartisan letter signed by both Republicans and Democrats, the lawmakers urged Secretary Alex Azar to ensure money made available by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is immediately and adequately disbursed to rural hospitals and health care providers.
“Our rural hospitals play such an important role in providing Missourians with quality health care, but they have made it clear that they are in desperate need of assistance as Missouri’s rural hospitals are on the frontlines of fighting the coronavirus. These hospitals and health care providers provide critical medical resources to nearly 2.25 million people in our state who live in rural communities. They must be a priority,” Hartzler said.
In the letter, Hartzler and other lawmakers argue that rural hospitals serve as the “backbone of communities across our nation” and calls or “immediate support” in continuing to care for our communities.  
In terms of financial stability, Hartzler added that rural hospitals and health care providers across the country are no longer performing or providing non-elective surgeries and medical services to non-urgent patients, putting all resources into combatting the coronavirus battle. While rural hospitals understand the importance of putting this global pandemic at the forefront, many of these health care providers rely on elective surgeries and non-urgent medical services, such as scoliosis surgery or tonsillectomy, for financial viability.
“Last week, we passed the CARES Act, a historic economic stimulus package that included new funding avenues to deliver assistance to our rural hospitals. As limited resources are depleting in our rural hospitals, I urge Secretary Azar to ensure that these new funds are dispersed to rural hospitals and health care providers quickly and efficiently,” Hartzler concluded.
The letter directed to Health and Human Services Secretary Azar, led by Reps. Roe of Tennessee and Schrier of Washington, and Sens. Barrasso of Wyoming and Bennet of Colorado, was delivered this week. For the text of the letter, please click here.