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Federal budget bill aids rural hospitals

WASHINGTON – Rural hospitals in the region will get a boost from the budget bill passed by Congress last month, said Rep. Chris Collins, a Clarence Republican who pushed for the provision that helps those facilities.

The bill extends the Medicare Dependent Hospital program and Low-Volume hospital payment adjustment for five years.

“This funding means life or death for rural hospitals,” said Collins. “In the event of an emergency, my constituents need to know that the lights will be on and they have somewhere to go for treatment.”

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital in Springville, United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia and the Wyoming County Community Health System are among the hospitals in Collins' district that will benefit.

"The five-year extension will give us greater confidence that services can be maintained, jobs retained and our efforts can be focused on continuing patient care at its high level," said Donald Eichenauer, CEO of Wyoming County Community Health System.

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