Small rural hospitals will be able to receive critical  funding as a result of legislation heading to the governor’s desk (TRT: 1:02) CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

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A bipartisan bill that will bring much needed financial relief to small rural hospitals has cleared all legislatives hurdles and will now head to the governor’s desk for signature. Sen. Jim Hargrove of Hoquiam was a sponsor on Senate Bill 5859 and has two hospitals in his district that will benefit as a result of this legislation.

Sen. Jim Hargrove, D-Hoquiam: (TRT: 18) CLICK TO DOWNLOAD: “This is extremely critical legislation for both Grays Harbor Hospital in Aberdeen and Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles. They have a very a very high Medicaid population – Grays Harbor has over 80 percent of their resources come from Medicaid, which pays far below cost. By changing this to a sole community designation, this should prop up the finances of our hospital and keep us from having a crisis in our local area.”

If Grays Harbor becomes a public hospital, their benefit will increase by more than $777,000 in fiscal year 2015 and by nearly $3 million in the next biennium. After passing unanimously in the House, the bill will head to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.

Nicole Vukonich reporting in Olympia.