Tester to Roll Out New Legislation to Improve Rural Health Care Access

The Defending Access to Rural Health Care Act will provide desperately needed resources to rural hospitals and clinics while lowering costs for frontier patients

Continuing his efforts to improve access to health care in frontier communities, U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.) today announced he will introduce new legislation that will provide desperately needed support to critical access hospitals and rural health clinics.

Tester’s Defending Access to Rural Health Care Act will make critical investments in rural health care by enhancing telehealth coverage for rural health clinics and centers, providing targeted regulatory relief for Critical Access Hospitals, and ensuring quality care by expanding incentive programs. Tester’s legislation will also lower costs for rural patients by boosting Medicare co-payments for services received in Critical Access Hospitals.

“As a third-generation Montanan living in a rural community, I know firsthand how hard it can be for folks in rural America to access high-quality health care,” said Tester. “Too many folks in Washington don’t understand that our rural hospitals and clinics operate on a razors edge and desperately need more resources to better serve frontier communities. That’s why I’m taking action to bolster access to rural health care and lower costs for patients – because whether you live in Lima or Los Angeles, folks should be able to get the care they need.”

Tester has been a consistent voice for bolstering rural health care access. Earlier this month, Tester re-introduced his bipartisan Rural Physician Workforce Production Act with Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) to incentivize young physicians to build their careers in rural hospitals, and ensure those facilities have the resources they need to recruit and retain doctors for the long haul.


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