Gov. Reynolds signs bill to help rural heath care facilities

(ABC 6 News) – Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed a bill on Tuesday aimed to help rural hospitals stay open and running.

The bill, SF 75, would allow Iowa hospitals to opt into a Rural Emergency Hospital program, which would help keep many of them open. If a hospital applies into the program, it would lose in-patient services in exchange for outpatient services and a 24/7 emergency room. Under the program, hospitals would get higher Medicare reimbursement rates and additional monthly federal payments. The program would also be available to rural surgical centers that provide outpatient services.

Gov. Reynolds believes the bill would help keep those hospitals open when low demand and low profitability would otherwise threaten them.

“This is part of our unwavering commitment to ensuring all Iowans, no matter where they live, receive the quality medical care they need and deserve,” said Gov. Reynolds. “This bill is an impactful step in that direction, and it’s a pleasure to sign it into law.” 

The bill passed, 97-1, in the Iowa House on Mar. 7 and in the Iowa Senate, 47-0, on Mar. 14.