Jan. 27, 2022

WARREN — PA House Health Committee Majority Chairman Rep. Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Crawford/ Forest) applauded both her House and Senate colleagues for working together to enact legislation that will deliver a critical $225 million infusion of federal funding (House Bill 253) to aid hospitals, behavioral health centers, rural healthcare facilities and other frontline health care workers who continue to provide high-quality, life-saving care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As I have consistently emphasized as chair of the House Health Committee, we are blessed to have so many hardworking nurses and other highly-skilled health care professionals, but there are simply not enough of them to meet current treatment demands,” said Rapp.  “I am confident that this funding will provide the working capital to implement the necessary retention solutions and additional incentives that will expand access to outstanding health care, not only in the rural communities which I represent, but across the Commonwealth.”

Advanced by the House and signed into law on Wednesday, Rapp is especially encouraged by the $110 million that House Bill 253 specifically allocates for critical access hospitals, high-volume Medicaid patient facilities and behavioral/psychiatric providers.   

Totaling more than $1.9 million, estimated countywide hospital and behavioral health payments under House Bill 253 are as follows:

     • Warren County:  $614,534.
     • Crawford County:  $1.18 million.
     • Forest County:  $131,422.

Additionally, House Bill 253 includes $100 million for acute care general hospitals and $15 million for the PA Student Loan Relief for Nurses Program.

The legislation requires all funding to be directed to retention and recruitment programs for staff. Hospital executives and administration, contracted staff, and physicians would not be eligible for payments under the bill; the funding would only be directed to nurses and other hospital employees.

Representative Kathy Rapp
65th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Ty McCauslin
RepRapp.com / Facebook.com/RepRapp