by Ryan Kelly –
The recently released budget from the Oval Office appears to do too much in the way of cutting important programs for rural health.
Taken from an article from ModernHealthcare, several items are targeted.
The Rural Hospital Flexibility Grant, at $42 million, is proposed for elimination. The Obama administration previously had recommended cutting the program, saying it was duplicative.
The new budget also zeroes out grants to state offices of rural health, a $9 million program.
The Rural Hospital Outreach Grant, which helps small rural hospitals get resources to create collaboratives with long-term care facilities or with ambulance services, is slated for a reduction of $13 million, to $51 million annually.
The total savings for eliminating these funds are very minimal…essentially a rounding error in the federal budget. But the impact on their elimination could be big, cutting out needed training, education, and support services to assist our rural facilities around the country, including Mississippi.
As an Association, we will wait temporarily to see how the president’s budget plays out. It’s likely that as in years past when these items were on the block for cuts, they will be replaced by the House and Senate who realize their essential nature in their districts. If they don’t restore these proposed cuts, though, we’ll be sure to weigh-in…