Rural Health Policy Update

September 2023

Both the House and Senate have been out of session throughout the month of August on their traditional August recess. The Senate returns to session on September 5 and the House gavels in on September 12. The top priority for Congress this fall will be passing the annual spending bill. Congressional leadership has indicated they will seek to pass a 1-2 month continuing resolution to keep the federal government funded beyond September 30 at FY 2023 levels. Congress will most likely pass the FY 2024 bill into law sometime in December. Another Congressional priority for the fall will be passing the Farm bill before the end of the year.


As a reminder, below are the FY 24 funding levels for rural health programs that have been passed through the committee level in each chamber:

Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility program

  • House: $74,277,000 of that amount, $25,942,000 for the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Grant program
  • Senate: $64,277,000 of that amount, $20,942,000 for the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Grant program

Rural Emergency Hospital Technical Assistance

  • House: $5,000,000
  • Senate: $5,000,000

State Offices of Rural Health grant program

  • House: $12,500,000
  • Senate: $12,500,000

Rural Residency Programs

  • House: $12,700,000
  • Senate: $12,500,000

Rural Communities Opioids Response Program

  • House: $0
  • Senate: $155,000,000


CDC Office of Rural Health Names Top Boss

In August, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Office of Rural Health (CDC ORH) named Diane Hall as its permanent director. Hall will lead the CDC’s efforts to enhance its rural health portfolio, coordinate rural health efforts across CDC programs, and develop a strategic plan for rural health at the agency. The CDC ORH was included in the FY 2023 funding bill that was signed into law last December.


Update provided by Andrew Coats, NOSORH Legislative Liaison