$46 million in ARPA funds heads for 143 of Vermont’s rural health-care providers

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services last week began distributing nearly $46 million to 143 of Vermont’s rural medical providers and suppliers serving Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program and Medicare beneficiaries.

Awarded under the American Rescue Plan Rural payments, this funding will provide much-needed relief for Vermont’s rural health care providers, who have struggled under the financial and operational challenges of the pandemic. Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and U.S. Rep. Peter Welch have advocated for funding to support the work of rural health care providers since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in March of 2020. The distribution of these funds represents a major step forward in the delegation’s efforts to ensure quality medical care for all Vermonters.

“Rural Vermonters have depended on their local health care providers to keep them safe through the pandemic,” said Sen. Leahy. “As the husband of a nurse, I am tremendously grateful to the women and men of our rural health workforce who have served their communities with commitment and skill through these challenging times. … I am glad to see that (federal) funding come home to Vermont at this critical time when Vermont providers are continuing to step forward to keep Vermonters healthy and safe.”

“In the richest country in the world, no one should have to go without health care,” said Sen. Sanders. “All too often, as patients struggle to afford care, rural health care providers – people who are a critical lifeline for Vermonters across our state – have also struggled just to keep their doors open.  Over the last 20 months, they faced unimaginable challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic but did everything possible to keep caring for patients in new and innovative ways. That is why I am so proud that the American Rescue Plan … so they (rural providers) can continue their important work to keep Vermonters healthy and safe.”

“he challenges of the last year and a half have only exacerbated existing financial challenges and strained providers’ ability to deliver the care Vermonters need,” said Rep. Welch. “This funding will provide equitable relief to our rural providers and give them the resources they need to provide accessible, high-quality care and to retain and recruit a strong health workforce across Vermont.”

For more information on American Rescue Plan Rural payments, please click here.

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About the Author: This item was edited from one or more press releases submitted to The Chester Telegraph.

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