RURAL HOSPITALS FIRST
As West Virginia’s hospitals are rapidly closing and filing for bankruptcy, Jim Justice isn’t doing anything to reverse this trend.
Ben Salango will fight to guarantee access to healthcare for rural and underserved communities. Ben’s plan will save our rural hospitals, protect healthcare jobs, and ensure that West Virginians have access to affordable health care. He will step in to prevent these hospital closures before they happen.
Instead of corporate giveaways eliminating the inventory tax ($100 million), or eliminating personal property tax ($200 million), or creating an intermediate appellate court ($6.5 million), Salango believes that it’s time to protect patients and jobs.
The Salango Plan:
There will be a lifeline for any rural hospital that plans to cease operations (OVMC, Fairmont Regional Medical Center, etc). Salango will stop closures before they happen.
Using the Pennsylvania Rural Health Model as a blueprint, Ben Salango will implement global budgets for struggling hospitals in West Virginia to ensure patients have access to high-quality care, while simultaneously reducing the cost of hospital expenditures.
As governor, Salango Will:
Establish a loan program to save struggling hospitals before they close. Similar to the effort underway in Kentucky.
Require that Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and other participants pay rural hospitals a fixed amount, set in advance to cover inpatient and hospital based out-patient services (CMS Innovation Center). If Jim Justice and his administration were paying attention, this partnership with the federal government could have saved hospitals from closing in our state.
Increase reimbursement rates, keeping patients stable close to their home and getting them to a medical hub for a major procedure.
Build free-standing emergency rooms and small format hospitals (~10 beds) across West Virginia.
Create more family- medicine focused rural hospitals.
Implement an annual “stress test” for all rural hospitals BEFORE they close their doors and lay off employees. Establish an unbiased team comprised of physicians, nurses, patients, community leaders, accountants, and hospital administrators to review the hospital's finances and create a plan to make a troubled hospital stable.
Ben will work with West Virginia’s U.S. Senators and members of Congress to inject federal dollars to save rural hospitals.