Skip to Content

Press Releases

Arrington Introduces Legislation to Enhance Healthcare Accessibility in Rural America

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, Representative Jodey Arrington (R-TX) introduced H.R. 9034 – the Healthcare Enhancement for America’s Rural Towns (HEART) Act – which would extend two Medicare payment programs that support rural hospitals and help protect local access to healthcare for millions of Americans. The Medicare Dependent Hospital (MDH) and Low-Volume Adjustment (LVA) programs, which will expire on December 16, 2022, help account for the unique challenges faced by rural hospitals and communities.

“Without local access to healthcare services, residents and the economy in rural America will suffer tremendously,” Rep. Arrington said. “Accessibility to local hospital services can be the difference between life and death for not just the nearly 57 million people living in rural and remote areas across the country, but all those who travel through these regions.”

MDH and LVA programs and other critical programs for rural hospitals and patients have strong bipartisan, bicameral support. The budget-neutral HEART Act would extend the Medicare LVA program for five years, and for the first time, would permanently extend the MDH program.

“The Texas Hospital Association applauds Congressman Arrington’s unwavering commitment to rural hospitals and the patients they serve,” said President and CEO John Hawkins. “The HEART Act, which would make one critical program permanent and extend another, provides much needed payment stability for hospitals in small and isolated communities. In a state as large as Texas, access to care challenges exists in many areas. Passage of this bill will help ensure hospital doors stay open to provide critical care to patients in need.”

“On behalf of rural hospitals in Texas, we applaud the Healthcare Enhancement for America’s Rural Towns Act. Representative Arrington’s leadership and recognition of rural hospitals is foundational to economic development is certainly appreciated,” said John Henderson, CEO of the Texas Organization of Rural Hospitals.