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Peterson and Tipton Introduce The Rural Hospital Frontier Workforce Fairness Act

 

November 15, 2019



WASHINGTON – This week, Representatives Collin Peterson (D-MN) and Scott Tipton (R-CO) introduced the bipartisan Rural Hospital Frontier Workforce Fairness Act to provide Sole Community Hospitals with increased funding to hire staff.

Under current law, Sole Community Hospitals in “Frontier States” benefit from the “Floor on Area Wage Index for Hospitals in Frontier States” to offer higher wages to employees. While this provision has been effective in strengthening the rural health workforce in Frontier States, it has placed nearby facilities in non-Frontier States at a significant disadvantage when competing for employees in the same geographic area.

The Rural Hospital Frontier Workforce Fairness Act addresses this problem by applying the Floor on Area Wage Index for Hospitals to any Sole Community Hospital located within 75 miles of a Frontier State’s border.

“Rural hospitals have an impact on the health of both the residents and the economy of their communities,” said Congressman Peterson. “This legislation will help several Minnesota hospitals attract and retain needed staff to provide the right care at the right place.”

“Increasing access to healthcare is among the top priorities for many rural Coloradans, who many have faced decreasing options and increasing costs over the last decade,” said Congressman Tipton. “The Rural Hospital Frontier Workforce Fairness Act will help attract and retain healthcare professionals for rural hospitals and ultimately improve the access to care that many families are eager to have.”

“Meeting the healthcare needs of our community has become increasingly difficult when Medicare pays other nearby hospitals substantially more for the same services,” said Kyle Richards (CEO of Lake Region Healthcare in Fergus Falls, MN). “This legislation targets the issue and treats us all fairly.”

 

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