JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith cosponsored a bill to help support the nation’s rural hospitals. 

Senate Bill 1110, known as the Rural Hospital Support Act, would attempt to keep rural hospitals open by permanently making available the Medicaid programs and funding they rely upon available. It does so by amending the Social Security Act and the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993. The bill permanently reassesses the payment calculations for Sole Community and Medicare-dependent hospitals to be less or equal to costs incurred by those hospitals in the 2016 fiscal year.

According to legislators like Hyde-Smith, this easily translates to giving Mississippi hospitals more money. 

  • Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., speaks during a Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 11, 2021, on climate change. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
  • Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) leaves a press conference on Wednesday, July 27, 2022 following the passage of the bipartisan Chips and Science Act providing  $280 billion to subsidize the domestic chip manufacturing industry.

“This bipartisan legislation would give assurances to rural hospitals that certain Medicare programs on which they rely are authorized permanently and not subject to lapsing,” Hyde-Smith said in a press release published Wednesday.

Mississippi’s U.S. senators cosponsored the bill weeks before Governor Tate Reeves approved the passage of three bills that established training programs for healthcare professionals and invested more than $103 million into rural hospitals. Still, more than one-third of Mississippi’s rural hospitals are at risk of closing, according to the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform.

Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) co-authored Senate Bill 1110. The bill, endorsed by the Alliance for Rural Hospital Access and the American Hospital Association, has yet to pass in the Senate. It was introduced in that chamber on March 30.