SuperTalk Mississippi
Featured News Latest News Politics Trending News

Republican-led Senate passes legislation aimed at assisting Mississippi’s hospitals

Greenwood Leflore Hospital
Photo courtesy of Greenwood Leflore Hospital

Although full Medicaid expansion has once again been shot down in Mississippi, all four bills that make up Republican Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann’s plan for the state’s struggling hospitals have passed the Senate and now head to the House.

The plan, which aims to provide both short-term and long-term assistance to Mississippi’s hospitals, includes the following:

  • Senate Bill 2372: A program that would provide $80 million in grants to hospitals based on the number of licensed beds and care. The legislation would also require recipient hospitals to submit a detailed report to the Mississippi State Department of Health in order for the state and the facilities to better plan for the future.
  • Senate Bill 2373: A hospital nurse loan repayment program that would award new nurses who agree to work in a Mississippi hospital up to $6,000 each year for three years ($18,000 total) to go toward any outstanding student loan debt.
  • Senate Bill 2371: A grant for community college nursing and allied health programs. Community college recipients which have waitlists may use funds on equipment, infrastructure, curricula, or other expenses geared toward increasing capacity in nursing or allied health training programs.
  • Senate Bill 2371: A hospital residency and fellowship grant providing start-up costs to create new or add capacity in existing programs in medical or surgical specialty areas at Mississippi hospitals. Physicians and surgeons who serve their residency or fellowship in the state are much more likely to remain here after the program concludes. Hospitals may use funds on equipment, infrastructure, curricula, or other initial expenses.
  • Senate Bill 2323: Legislation allowing community hospitals to collaborate and consolidate facilities and services with non-profit or other similar entities.

With 28 hospitals across the state currently in danger of closing, some lawmakers have argued that $80 million in lifeline money is not enough. In response, Hosemann and Senator Kevin Blackwell, R-Southaven, have said that the number can ultimately be changed prior to passage in the House.

“Mississippians should have access to affordable, quality healthcare, and our hospitals across the state are a critical part of this network,” Hosemann said. “The proposed funding is short-term, but these bills also are the beginning of a thoughtful, candid conversation about the delivery of healthcare in our state.”

According to Blackwell, hospitals are currently asking for $230 million in funding. Lawmakers would first like to see reports from the Mississippi Hospital Association comparing pre-COVID and post-COVID numbers.

Stay up to date with all of Mississippi’s latest news by signing up for our free newsletter here

Copyright 2024 SuperTalk Mississippi Media. All rights reserved.

Related posts

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More