The American Hospital Association (AHA) recently hosted, rural hospital and health system leaders at the 2nd Annual Rural Policy Forum. SDAHO board member Bryan Slaba, CEO/Administrator, Wagner Community Memorial Hospital Avera and Scott A. Duke, President/CEO traveled to Washington, DC to attend the event and meet with Senator John Thune.
Attendees received an update on the legislative and policy priorities, with a focus on rural issues. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), lead sponsor of the Rural Emergency Acute Care Hospital Act (S. 1130) and Rural Hospital Access Act (S. 872), spoke at the meeting and discussed the legislation and the importance of small rural hospitals to the economic health of communities. Grassley also noted the importance of the 340B Drug Pricing Program, which helps safety-net hospitals reduce the price of outpatient pharmaceuticals for patients and expand health services to patients and the communities they serve.
Additional speakers included: George Sigounas, Administrator, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA); Tom Morris, HRSA Associate Administrator for Rural Health Policy; and Cara James, Office of Minority Health Director and Co-Chair of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Rural Health Council.