Federal funds will help financially strapped rural hospitals in Kentucky

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) –The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved Kentucky’s request to recover Medicaid federal match rates and provide federal funds for a payment benefiting more than 50 rural hospitals in the state.

In a joint announcement from Gov. Andy Beshear and U. S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the two stated the total amount of federal funds, to be determined by CMS, will help pay hundreds of millions in damages resulting from a state court order between Kentucky and rural hospitals over Medicaid in-patient rates.

Following a request from the Beshear administration, McConnell’s office contacted senior officials at CMS and at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reiterating the importance of a quick and positive decision for Kentucky’s rural hospitals.

“We fought hard for this funding, which will now help dozens of Kentucky’s rural hospitals with the crucial support they need to help fight against COVID-19 and confront this pandemic in the Commonwealth,” said Beshear. “I want to thank Senate Majority Leader McConnell for helping us secure this essential funding for our rural health care providers.”

“As Kentucky’s rural hospitals and medical professionals stand on the frontline of the coronavirus crisis, I’m glad the Trump administration answered our call to deliver these critical federal funds,” stated McConnell. “I was proud to raise this important Kentucky priority to the highest levels of the federal government. I look forward to continuing to work with Governor Beshear and our rural hospitals to help give them the tools necessary to care for patients and fulfill their mission.”

Studies released last year indicated that 25 percent of Kentucky’s hospitals were under severe financial strain and 13 could close if the Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement rates do not change. Current rates are less than what it costs the hospitals to provide the services.

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