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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) was joined by U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) in introducing The Rural Health Clinic Burden Reduction Act to provide regulatory relief for rural health clinics.

This bipartisan bill will provide necessary updates to modernize the 30-year old law governing rural health clinics across the country. It gives these clinics guidance regarding the use of nurse practitioners and physician assistants, improves the ability of rural health clinics to provide mental health services, and removes outdated lab requirements.

“As co-chairman of the Senate Rural Health Caucus, one of my top priorities is improving health care in Wyoming,” said Senator Barrasso. “Rural health clinics have faced outdated and burdensome regulations for far too long. Our bipartisan legislation provides the necessary updates to ensure providers are able to give patients the high quality care they deserve.”

“When I meet with families, farmers, businesses and community leaders in greater Minnesota, one of the first issues that comes up is health care,” said Senator Smith. “This bipartisan legislation will help modernize outdated laws that hamstring rural health clinics and improve access to care in rural communities. I’ll keep working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get this passed.”

“As I meet annually with community leaders across all 95 counties in Tennessee, improving access to rural healthcare is consistently top of the discussion,” said Senator Blackburn. “This bill will update outdated federal regulation and remove regulatory burdens for our rural health clinics, bringing quality care closer to home for rural America.”

“Coloradans across the state rely on rural health clinics to access care in their communities, but unnecessary and outdated regulations weigh down providers’ ability to deliver high quality, affordable health care,” said Senator Bennet. “This bill cuts three decades old red tape, modernizing a vital part of our nation’s health care system and allowing for trusted providers to improve and expand their services.”

“This legislation would provide immediate cost-savings to our rural health clinic by removing outdated lab requirements and aligning RHC policies with state scope of practice laws. The RHC Burden Reduction Act of 2023 is a long overdue package of common-sense burden reduction policies that, if passed, will support a continued focus on our mission providing healthcare to rural, underserved populations.” – Jeff Mincy, CEO of Platte Valley Clinic in Saratoga, WY

The legislation is also endorsed by the National Association of Rural Health Clinics, the National Rural Health Association, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, and the American Academy of Physician Associates.

Full text of the legislation can be found here.