Research by Nick Bowman
Policy Analysis | March 2020
All information presented is current as of March 27, 2020.
Session adjourned indefinitely.
U.S. Senate Republican Runoff Election moved from March 31 to July 14.
General Assembly still scheduled to convene on April 8. Interim committee hearings and meetings have been cancelled through March 20 and will be reevaluated weekly. General Primary Runoff Elections are scheduled for March 31, no announced postponement.
The General Assembly convened for a special session on Thursday, March 26. The session is limited to a single bill that would transfer $173 million in surplus funds to a special COVID-19 fund. In order to follow recommended public health guidelines for “social distancing,” the session will feature a unique format. The House met at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s basketball arena to allow members and staff to adequately space out. Meanwhile, the majority of the Senate gathered in the chamber at the Capitol, with 20 members evenly spread out on either side of the chamber, and the remaining 10 senators sitting upstairs in the gallery space.Members may designate a colleague as a proxy to vote on their behalf, if they are unable or unwilling to attend in person.
Session adjourned sine die on March 19.
Presidential Preference Primary elections were held March 17, as scheduled.
The General Assembly has suspended session indefinitely.
The presidential primary has been delayed from March 24 until May 19. Early voting was terminated and will resume on April 27.
Policy Analysis | November 2019
Rural hospitals have struggled to remain solvent in recent years. Since January 2010, 81 rural hospitals have closed in the SLC region. State and federal policy makers are working to mitigate this trend and promote the work of rural hospitals.* At the federal level, the recently introduced Rural Health Agenda offers potential assistance for rural hospitals and residents.
On July 31, 2019, U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (TN) introduced the Rural Health Agenda in the Senate to support the provision of rural healthcare. The agenda includes the Rural America Health Corps Act, Telehealth Across State Lines Act of 2019 and Rural Health Innovation Act of 2019. The three bills were each read twice and referred to the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
On October 29, 2019, U.S. Representative Phil Roe (TN) introduced companion bills for the Rural America Health Corps Act and Telehealth Across State Lines Act of 2019 in the House of Representatives. Both bills were referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee; the latter was also referred to the Ways and Means Committee. That same day, U.S. Representative David Kustoff (TN) introduced a companion bill for the Rural Health Innovation Act of 2019, which was referred to the Energy and Commerce Committee.
The information provided is a summary of the three bills comprising the Rural Health Agenda. As the bills are in committee, they are subject to change. All information is current as of November 19, 2019.
Rural America Health Corps Act
Response for Rural Hospitals: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow:
"I suspect many legislators, including myself, avoid healthcare issues because of their complexity. This research makes it feel more manageable. Wow, just wow! That was an amazing undertaking on the part of the SLC. Thanks for your hard work."
SLC Regional Resource | November 2019
With decreasing rural populations and changing federal regulations, many rural hospitals have struggled to maintain financial viability in recent years. In 2017, 6,210 total hospitals operated in the United States; 2,250, of these are rural hospitals. Nationally, 113 rural hospitals have closed since January 2010. Furthermore, the rate of rural hospital closures from 2013 to 2017 was twice as high as the rate of the previous five years. In January 2010, SLC member states had approximately 831 rural hospitals. Since then, 81 rural hospitals (9.7 percent) in the South have closed.
This SLC Regional Resource examines the unique circumstances facing rural hospitals and communities today, including healthcare regulations and recent federal actions aimed at directing greater financial support toward rural healthcare providers, followed by a review of legislation adopted in the 15 SLC member states addressing rural health, rural hospitals and their challenges.
More Research by Nick Bowman
Policy Analysis | September 2019
Policy Analysis | September 2019
Policy Analysis | August 2019
Policy Analysis | April 2019
SLC Regional Resource | May 2018
Policy Analysis | April 2018
Policy Analysis | September 2017
Policy Analysis | April 2017
SLC Regional Resource | April 2017
Policy Analysis | November 2016
Policy Analysis | September 2016