Abraham obtains funds to keep Rayville hospital from closing
WASHINGTON - Congressman Ralph Abraham, M.D., R-Alto, has successfully intervened on behalf of the Richardson Medical Center in Rayville with the federal government to keep the hospital from closing.
Hospital administrators received notice earlier this month that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would no longer reimburse the hospital for its Medicare and Medicaid patients. The news meant the hospital would have to close as it would have been unable to afford to stay open. The hospital had enough cash to remain open for less than a month.
Dr. Abraham immediately contacted CMS on behalf of the hospital after he became aware of the situation. Dr. Abraham requested an immediate review of the hospital’s case, and CMS agreed to continue sending federal funds to the medical center as a result of that request.
“I’m very pleased that the Richardson Medical Center will remain open and continue its mission of helping the people of Rayville and the surrounding area,” Dr. Abraham said. “The hospital provides a vital service to so many of the region’s poor and elderly citizens. We simply could not allow them to go without access to medical care.”
Hospital CEO/Administrator James W. Barrett, Jr., said he was grateful for Dr. Abraham’s help in ensuring that the hospital would remain open.
“Congressman Abraham stood up for us and got this situation resolved quickly. He did exactly what we needed him to do. The people of Richland Parish are indebted to him,” Barrett said.
Dr. Abraham spent more than 20 years practicing medicine at a clinic in nearby Mangham. He said that experience has shown him how vital it is that people in rural areas have access to quality medical care.
“This rural hospital is in one of the poorest areas of the country and serves thousands of elderly and disadvantaged patients who have little access to other sources of medical care,” Dr. Abraham said. “We simply could not allow that many poor and elderly patients who use the center to bear the consequences of an incorrect CMS decision. Letting that hospital close was simply not an option that I would accept."