Legislation aims to enhance rural healthcare

Bipartisan legislation recently introduced by Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.) would take steps to improve care at rural medical facilities by providing more flexibility to attract and retain physician anesthesiologists.

Jenkins and Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) introduced the Medicare Access to Rural Anesthesiology Act. It would allow “pass-through” Medicare part A funds to be used to fund physician anesthesiologist positions.

“Access to quality health care in rural communities continues to be one of my top priorities,” Jenkins said. “Congress must ensure our rural hospitals are able to sustain a healthcare system that provides folks the care they require, and we need cost-effective solutions to incentivize physicians to practice in these areas. I am pleased to introduce bipartisan legislation to provide greater access to anesthesiology professionals for our rural hospitals and help to improve the shortage of access to anesthesiology medical care in rural communities.”

Cleaver said improving rural healthcare is critical to the future of many rural communities.

“I am pleased to introduce this bipartisan bill that will give qualified rural hospitals the resources to attract and retain physician anesthesiologists for rural patients,” Cleaver said. “By addressing the shortage of medical services in rural settings, this bill will expand access of care for underserved areas.”