On January 5, 2023, President Biden signed the State Offices of Rural Health Program Reauthorization Act of 2022 (the “Act”) into law. The Act reauthorizes grants awarded to state offices of rural health for improving health care in rural areas through fiscal year 2027. The prior law requires recipients of grants to use the funds for the purposes of:
- Maintaining a rural health clearinghouse for collecting and disseminating information on rural health care issues, research findings relating to rural health care, and innovative approaches to the delivery of health care in rural areas;
- Coordination of rural health care activities;
- Identifying Federal and State rural health programs and provide technical assistance regarding participation in those programs; and
- Recruiting and retaining health professionals to serve in rural areas.
The Act was introduced by U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Co-Chairs of the Senate Rural Health Caucus, and co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.). It passed by unanimous consent in the Senate and voice vote in the House.