La Crosse, WI – Today, Rep. Ron Kind announced that rural health providers in Wisconsin’s Third Congressional District are set to receive over $28.4 million in American Rescue Plan (ARP) Rural payments through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The ARP Rural payments are being distributed to providers and suppliers who serve rural Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Medicare beneficiaries. These payments will help provide relief to rural providers who have faced significant financial pressure during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our rural health care providers here in Wisconsin were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and many are struggling to recover,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “I’m thrilled to see the American Rescue Plan working to provide badly-needed relief to these facilities and ensure our rural communities can continue to access high-quality care.”
“In my 45 years working with rural hospitals in Wisconsin, I have never seen them as stressed by events outside of their control. Communities rely on the outstanding care they receive locally but many rural hospitals are struggling with crippling workforce shortages. The American Rescue Plan funding makes a critical difference for our rural hospitals and the patients they serve. We’re grateful to Rep. Ron Kind for helping to secure this critical relief and consistently advocating for rural health,” said Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative Executive Director Tim Size.
This ARP Rural relief funding will help health care providers stay open, address workforce challenges, and make up for lost revenue and increased expenses caused by COVID-19. Specifically, providers can use these funds for salaries, recruitment, or retention; supplies such as N95 or surgical masks; equipment like ventilators or improved filtration systems; capital investments; information technology; and other expenses related to preventing, preparing for, or responding to COVID-19.
Research has found that 47 percent of rural providers were operating in the red pre-pandemic and the pandemic only created more hardships. To help mitigate some of these pandemic-related financial losses, providers were invited to apply for this ARP Rural relief funding starting on September 29, 2021 and the application window closed on November 3, 2021. Currently, HHS has processed nearly 96 percent of the more than 55,000 ARP Rural applications submitted and many recipients will be eligible for additional funding through the $17 billion Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Phase 4 that was also made available during the same time period. Providers could apply for both opportunities through the same application.
Rep. Kind voted for the American Rescue Plan on March 10, 2021. He is the co-chair of the bipartisan House Rural Health Care Coalition and serves on the Subcommittee on Health for the Ways and Means Committee, the most powerful – and the oldest – committee in the House of Representatives. It has jurisdiction over tax measures, the management of public debt, trade and tariff laws, Social Security, Medicare, pensions, and many other economic growth measures.
For a full list of facilities in WI-03 who received funding, click here.