Hoeven Works to Improve Rural Health Care

Senator Meets with Jamestown Hospital Officials, Tours Expanded Facility

JAMESTOWN, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today met with Jamestown Regional Medical Center and local officials to underscore the importance of ensuring access to quality rural health care and providing reliable Medicare reimbursement to North Dakota hospitals and doctors. Hoeven, as a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, supported provisions in the 2012 Labor, Health and Human Services funding measure to advance rural health care priorities. 

Hoeven, who is also a member of the Senate Rural Health Caucus, joined a bipartisan group of senators in urging the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education to support programs that strengthen rural health care access. 

Those include the $41.1 million nationwide effort designed to enhance access to essential health care services provided by rural health networks, rural emergency medical services and Critical Access Hospitals (CAH), like Jamestown Regional Medical Center. The intent of the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Grants Program is to help rural communities implement innovative rural health ideas then transition off federal funding as projects become self-sufficient. 

Other provisions in the legislation are designed to provide a state focus and technical assistances to rural areas by assisting rural health care clinics, community health centers and small, rural hospitals through the State Offices of Rural Help program, and also to encourage the adoption of new health information technology through the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Grant Program. 

“North Dakota’s health care providers do an outstanding job of meeting the needs of our state,” said Hoeven. “Jamestown Medical Center serves nine counties in North Dakota, providing the people who live and work in this area access to a first-class facility with high-quality care. We’re working to do all we can to support them, and all of our rural health care providers.”  

A Critical Access Hospital, Jamestown Regional Medical Center serves more than 55,000 people in a nine-county rural area located between Fargo and Bismarck. While meeting with hospital leaders, Hoeven toured the new state-of-the-art medical facility, which opened in July 2011.