The North Carolina legislature has paved the way for tough-luck rural hospitals in the state to potentially have access to more capital.
Senate Bill 537 seeks to establish a rural hospital loan program that would offer as much as $20 million in funding to cash-strapped rural institutions from the pockets of state taxpayers.
The program would be overseen by UNC Health Care and the N.C. Local Government Commission and would would seek to help struggling rural hospitals build new institutions or move to new ones. All hospitals seeking assistance are required to submit a plan spelling out how they plan to recover financially.
After the Senate maneuvered the loan program into a more comprehensive mini-budget that included social services reform and revisions to the Substance Abuse Professional Practice Act, it passed both chambers before the General Assembly adjourned earlier this year.