Sebelius Hears Rural Health Concerns
HLM: What unanswered questions remain?
Scanlan: I don't know that there's as much unanswered questions as there is a list of important issues for rural hospitals that need to be addressed at the federal level by HHS, as well as by Congress, to make sure that there is adequate payment for care that's delivered in rural communities, particularly to rural hospitals. And that as part of the conversation about deficit reduction, [ensuring] these smaller hospitals aren't disproportionately hurt in the process.
HLM: Did you feel that you were heard?
Scanlan: Oh, I think the Secretary clearly heard the issues. I'm not sure she was surprised by any of them. She was a governor of a state that has a large rural area, Kansas; she reminded the group of that. She's very articulate on rural issues. I think it was a reaffirmation of the kinds of issues that are important for rural health, rural communities, and rural hospitals.
HLM: Do you feel like it was successful overall?
Scanlan: We do. We were pleased that she was able to make the hospital association and rural issues a stop on her trip here in Pennsylvania, and we think from that perspective alone is was worthwhile. And then to have the ability to spend about an hour talking with her about all of these issues, I think was very helpful.
HLM: Were participants satisfied with the outcomes of the roundtable?
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