Rep. Green Joins Colleagues in Launching Bipartisan Rural Health Caucus 

WASHINGTON—Rep. Mark Green, MD joined Congresswoman Carol Miller and colleagues in launching the bipartisan Rural Health Caucus. 

Green said, “Tennessee is plagued by rural hospital closures and limited access to emergency medicine. This problem, combined with the second-most hospital closures of any other state, equals an impending disaster for my constituents. As a former ER physician and business owner focused on emergency medical staffing, I understand the complex needs of our rural communities. This bipartisan caucus will serve as a crucial tool in the fight for solutions in Washington. Barriers to patient care, especially emergency room care, can mean life or death. Rural communities are suffering—we must take action.” 

The Congressional Bipartisan Health Caucus will promote and advance legislation and policy actions that help increase access to quality, affordable health care, and mental health services for all rural Americans. They will also create opportunities for members to hear directly from patients, providers, and health advocates about the challenges and successes with health care delivery for rural communities.

The Caucus will highlight potential policy solutions including: 

  • Stemming hospital closures,
  • Ensuring fair and adequate reimbursement rates,
  • Strengthening the health workforce,
  • Reducing health inequities, and 
  • Expanding telehealth and other innovative care delivery models. 

Rep. Green has introduced three pieces of legislation as a part of his broader rural healthcare initiative. 

Bill text for the Rural Health Care Access Act:

  • Endorsed by the National Rural Health Association and the National Association of Rural Health Clinics, this bill targets rural hospital closures by expanding the federal definition of “Critical Access Hospitals. 

Bill text for the Rural ER Access Act: 

  • Repeals a federal regulation that prohibits free-standing emergency departments from operating more than 35 miles from a hospital. 

Bill text for the Reducing Medically Unnecessary Delays in Care Act:

  • Addresses the use of prior authorization requirements in Medicare and Medicare Advantage, as well as prior authorization fixes to prescription drug plans under Medicare.