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December 01, 2021

Rural health care providers to receive $43 million in ARP funds

Credit: Cumberland Times-New, Brandon Glass

CUMBERLAND — The Maryland congressional delegation announced Wednesday $43 million in federal funding as part of the American Rescue Plan for rural health care providers across the state that serve Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program and Medicare recipients.

“This funding will go a long way in securing dependable, affordable health care for folks across Western Maryland. Having grown up on a chicken and hog farm, I know how important it is for rural communities to have a seat at the table,” said U.S. Rep. David Trone. “It should go without saying: rural communities should benefit from the American Rescue Plan as much as any other community in our country. I’m glad to see these much-needed resources coming their way.”

The funding is from the Department of Health and Human Services and is earmarked to help rural health care providers make up the increased expenses and revenue lost due to the pandemic. The funds can be used for salaries, personal protective equipment and other general COVID-19 prevention and preparedness expenses.

To be eligible for the funding, the health care providers must be located in geographic areas that are defined as rural by the United State Census Bureau. The Census considers rural to man all people, housing and territory not within an urban area. Rural is a location that’s not an urban core of 50,000 or more people.

“Marylanders living in rural communities face many barriers to receiving high-quality care because it’s too expensive, transportation is unreliable, they live too far away or the social stigma prevents them from seeking help in the first place. This isn’t fair and it isn’t right,” said Trone.