— The House Health Subcommittee on Health Facilities held a public hearing this week on hospital consolidation and closures.
Rep. Kathy L. Rapp (R-Warren/Crawford/Forest), Republican chair of the wider House Health Committee, issued this statement following the hearing:
“While it’s important for all Pennsylvanians to have access to quality health care, it’s especially critical that we do everything in our power to ensure hospital consolidations and closures don’t put our rural communities in jeopardy.
“If an inner-city hospital closes or gets bought out, another quality health care provider may only be a few blocks away. This is not the case for people in rural Pennsylvania. Some people already live several miles away from the nearest hospital. The next closest may be hours away. In some cases, certain health services may even require crossing state lines.
“There are cases in which health care consolidation helps communities. It could prevent closures or expand the resources available to certain locations. However, the opposite can also be true. Consolidation has the potential to diminish the available resources at some sites. In other cases, consolidation can lead to larger entities driving up the prices of important services.
“Health care is costly enough as it is. I will do everything I can to ensure all Pennsylvania communities, especially our rural constituents, retain access to quality health care.”
Representative Kathy Rapp
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Jake Gillespie
RepRapp.com / Facebook.com/RepRapp