Hoeven Outlines Efforts to Ensure Access to Quality Health Care in Rural Communities

Senator Helps Break Ground on New Heart of America Facility in Rugby

RUGBY, N.D. – At a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Heart of America hospital, clinic and long-term care facility today, Senator John Hoeven outlined his efforts to help ensure access to quality health care services in rural communities across North Dakota. This includes Hoeven’s work as the ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee to

  • Secure $55 million in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans to construct the new health care facility in Rugby.
    • Hoeven supported similar efforts in communities like Hazen and Grafton.
  • Advance innovative solutions, like telehealth, to help improve health care access.
    • Hoeven helped introduce legislation to further expand coverage of telehealth services through Medicare and make permanent certain flexibilities that were provided for telehealth services in recent years.

“The new Heart of America facility will help ensure residents in central North Dakota have access to critical health care services, from emergency services to long-term care,” said Hoeven. “We are working to advance projects just like this across our state to help ensure a higher quality of life in our rural communities. At the same time, we are working to expand the use of telehealth and other innovative practices to give residents better access to the health care and services they need.”

Specifically, the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act of 2021 would allow patients to more easily connect with their health care providers by: 

  • Permanently removing all geographic restrictions on telehealth services and expanding originating sites to include the home and other sites.
  • Allowing community health centers and rural health clinics to provide telehealth services.
  • Providing the authority to waive telehealth restrictions in certain circumstances.