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NH Delegation Welcomes $76.7M from ARPA to Support Rural Health Care Providers on Frontlines of COVID

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) led Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) in applauding $76,744,300 heading to 226 rural providers and suppliers in New Hampshire. These payments come from the American Rescue Plan thanks to Shaheen’s advocacy to support rural providers and providers treating rural patients who experienced revenue losses and expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding was announced this morning through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

Shaheen has led bipartisan efforts in the Senate to support providers on the frontlines of the pandemic. In September, Shaheen welcomed news that $25.5 billion through the Provider Relief Fund and American Rescue Plan (ARP) rural distribution portal would open after she and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) discovered that 25% of allocated PRF funding was unspent. They led the push to quickly rectify it. Shaheen also fought to secure a set-aside for rural providers during ARP negotiations, and applauded HHS’ release of $7.5 billion in PRF funding for rural communities last month. Also last month, Shaheen led the New Hampshire delegation in welcoming $41 million to support 262 providers.

“Rural hospitals and providers have been devastated by the pandemic, which has strained resources and put some providers at risk of bankruptcy during this public health crisis. That’s why securing funding for rural providers was a top priority for me during negotiations around the American Rescue Plan. I’m thrilled to see $76 million heading to New Hampshire to support our public health response in rural communities – particularly as the omicron variant leads to record-high infection rates,” said Senator Shaheen. “This funding will help our doctors treat the influx of patients and help us finally put this pandemic behind us.”

“We passed the American Rescue Plan because we knew that across the country, and regardless of zip code, people, businesses, and health care providers were hurting,” said Senator Hassan. “The funding announced today to 226 rural health providers goes to show that the American Rescue Plan continues to deliver for the people of New Hampshire. Amid the most recent surge in cases, health care providers are once again feeling the immense strain of the public health crisis, and this federal funding will help them get through a tumultuous time.”

“Our Granite State health care providers have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic for nearly two years, and it is essential we continue to support them as they work to keep our communities safe,” said Rep. Kuster. “I’m thrilled to see these federal dollars from the American Rescue Plan heading to New Hampshire to support providers serving Granite Staters in rural communities. I will continue working in Congress to ensure all our health care providers have the resources and support they need to weather this storm.”

“Our hospitals and community health centers have been on the frontlines of this pandemic since it first started,” said Rep. Pappas. “These federal funds could not come at a more important time to ensure they can continue to serve our communities and combat the revenue loss they’ve experienced throughout this crisis. As we work to end this pandemic, I’ll continue working to make sure our health care providers have the resources they need to keep our communities healthy and safe.”

During negotiations with the Senate and White House on the American Rescue Plan, Shaheen helped steer efforts to increase funding for the Provider Relief Fund to ensure hospitals, nursing homes and other health care providers on the frontlines have the support they need to keep their doors open and continue to care for patients. Shaheen also defended the Provider Relief Fund from being considered as a pay-for amid negotiations on the historic bipartisan infrastructure legislation that recently was signed into law. She also wrote an op-ed on her efforts to bolster the Provider Relief Fund as a lifeline for providers in the Concord Monitor.