Congress Passes Fiscal Year 2022 Omnibus Package: NRHA Statement
Last night, the Senate passed the $1.5 billion Omnibus spending package to fund the government for the remainder of fiscal year (FY) 2022. The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) applauds Congress for their bipartisan compromise to fund the government and the attention shown toward rural health care programs.
Specifically, NRHA is happy to see Congress establish a Rural Emergency Hospital (REH) Technical Assistance (TA) Program, necessary assistance for providers interested in transitioning to this new designation, as well as continued support for rural hospitals through continued funding for the Rural Hospital Technical Assistance, the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Grant, and Rural Community Facilities programs. Further, the legislation continues funding for core rural health care programs.
Additionally, NRHA supports non-appropriations related provisions included in the package that will directly benefit rural health care access. Key items of note are provisions to ensure providers maintain their 340B status by waiving DSH percentage qualifications during COVID-19 cost report years, the Rural Maternal and Obstetric Modernization of Services (Rural MOMS) Act to improve rural maternal and obstetric care, and the extension of telehealth flexibilities beyond the duration of the public health emergency.
NRHA is pleased with the attention to rural health in this Omnibus bill. Nevertheless, we believe that more can be done, and we will advocate for continued emphasis from elected officials on the rural health safety net to ensure provider stability beyond the pandemic.
NRHA thanks its members for the continuous outreach to Members of Congress to ensure that rural health care providers are given the necessary funding for essential lifesaving programs to continue.