Senators propose funding for hospital trauma centers

Everyone knows that trauma centers are a money-losing proposition for hospitals, which typically take in a high volume of critically-injured, costly patients with little or no ability to pay for their care. Now, a group of U.S. Senators is hoping to throw at least some money at the problem. A new plan backed by Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA), Johnny Isakson (R-OK) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) would parcel out $100 million in annual grants to trauma centers. Most funding will go to hospitals which provide the most charity care, but the bill would also provide emergency funding to prevent trauma center downgrades and closures, plus pay for core trauma services. Right now, only one in 10 of the nation's hospitals maintain trauma centers, and at least 19 have closed nationwide since 2000.

To find out more about the bill:
- read this press release from Sen. Murray

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