Costa Takes Lead on Rural Health Clinics Funding Snafu Fix

Mar 19, 2021
Press Release

(FRESNO) Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) released the following statement after leading efforts to correct a technical error in the Consolidations Appropriations Act of 2021 which would prevent rural health clinics from receiving Medicare reimbursements:

"Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, clinics in rural areas struggled to receive the resources they need to care for the patients who rely on their services,” said Costa. “This bill corrects an erroneous mistake from a previous coronavirus relief package that cut off vital Medicare funding. Restoring these payments helps to ensure rural health centers across the country can continue providing care to underserved communities at a time it’s so desperately needed.”

With the introduction of the Rural and Underserved Small Hospital Protection (RUSH) Act of 2021, which Rep. Costa is an original co-sponsor, an incorrect deadline for Medicare reimbursements would be corrected to ensure RHCs would continue to receive Medicare funding. These clinics often serve a large Medicare population and could be forced to close without a date correction and reduction in reimbursements.

“Rural health clinics play an essential role in the delivery of health care services throughout vast rural regions of our state. Some of the areas hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic have been our rural communities, where these hospital-based facilities operate. CHA is pleased to support this legislation, which will make a technical correction to address the needs of hospital-based RHCs that were being brought online over the past year.” - Carmela Coyle, President & CEO of the California Hospital Association.

“NRHA applauds Representatives Kind, Costa, and others for their work to introduce the Rural and Underserved Small Hospital (RUSH) Protection Act of 2021 to provide much needed changes to the provider-based rural health clinic (RHC) program. The December COVID-19 relief package included provisions with unintended consequences for the provider-based RHC program, and this legislation will go a long ways in beginning to address RHC reimbursement challenges.  NRHA looks forward to working with this group of Representatives to get this correction signed into law and continue to work on ways to modernize the RHC program throughout the 117th Congress.”Alan Morgan, Chief Executive Officer of the National Rural Health Association