Rural hospitals get temporary funding relief

More rural hospitals are celebrating restored funding under the fiscal cliff deal, but the relief won't last long, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

More than 20 community hospitals in Pennsylvania are cheering the one-year extension to a program that pays up to millions of dollars to hospitals with fewer than 100 beds in rural areas and have a large Medicare patient population.

However, the Medicare Dependent Hospital payments expire in one year. The short-term fix will mean rural hospitals will struggle with the same budget issues, the article noted. With funding still set to expire, Punxsutawney Area Hospital, for instance, won't reestablish a cardiac rehabilitation program it cut in September. But in the meantime, Punxsutawney will see an extra $400,000, while Pennsylvania's Southwest Regional will see an extra $1.2 million.

Wayne Memorial Hospital in Honesdale, Pa., also will get an additional $2 million, and upstate New York's Jones Memorial Hospital will see an extra $450,000 in funds this year under the Medicare Dependent Hospital program, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

Thanks to the extension, 10 hospitals in Kentucky, including Clinton County Hospital, Fleming County Hospital and Harrison Memorial Hospital, will receive up to several millions of Medicare dollars, Kentucky Health News reported.

For more:
- read the Post-Gazette article
- here's the Kentucky Health News article