A bipartisan bill introduced by Senator Tina Smith and Republican Roger Wicker of Mississippi would grant smaller non-profit rural hospitals access to the Paycheck Protection Program loans, something they can’t utilize now. Senator Smith says this would allow facilities to retain critical staff and focus their resources on providing quality care to patients for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic:

“They lost revenue because they weren’t doing as many elective surgeries. And then they had increased cost because of the need for personal protective equipment and other costs and they also had staffing pressures.”

Smith says since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, critical access hospitals, and rural hospitals have continued to provide care to some of our state’s most vulnerable populations despite facing substantial increases in operating costs.