Rural hospitals in Arkansas will be receiving $10 million in additional funding to help weather the COVID-19 crisis.
According to Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Arkansas Department of Commerce Mike Preston and his department have worked to identify specific needs throughout the state and have allocated $10 million from Community Development Block Grants, which are administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
This funding will be apportioned out to 27 hospitals throughout the state. Hutchinson said that the funding amounts for the rural hospitals will range from $250,000 to $500,000. The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences will be receiving $500,000 to support its telehealth initiatives in rural areas.
UAMS Chancellor Dr. Cam Patterson called the funding a “big shot in the arm” for rural hospitals. Due to restrictions on elective procedures, rural hospitals – and healthcare systems in general – have lost significant revenue streams, forcing them to cut costs and begin employee furloughs.
Rural hospitals will still be eligible for additional funding under the CARES Act, according to Preston.