ROCHESTER, Minn. - New bipartisan legislation would offer the Paycheck Protection Program as an option for rural hospitals.
The bill is spearheaded by Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.). The senators hope by offering rural hospitals access to the PPP it will allow facilities to focus on providing quality care to patients while retaining staff.
The bill would waive Small Business Administration Affiliation rules for non-profit critical access hospitals and rural facilities.
Sen. Smith says many small hospitals operate as part of larger health systems which then exceed the 500-employee limit under SBA's affiliation rules making them ineligible for the PPP.
She explained, "Community hospitals in Worthington and Owatonna and places that might be affiliated with a big health system and because of that affiliation they weren't eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program before now and they really need this help."
Smith hopes this bill will take effect some time next month as part of the federal COVID-19 relief package.