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Other repairs needed

Dear editor:

Noticed in Sunday's edition that the expressway resurfacing is about to begin. This is wonderful and much needed. Wish we could also get the section of Albert Pike between Cajun Boilers and Mountain Pine Road done. It is in terrible condition. There are many areas where the blacktop has been completely stripped away from the underlying concrete. I have noticed numerous cars straddling two lanes to avoid the bad stretches. This is dangerous.

Oliver T. Driver

Hot Springs

Better rural health care

Dear editor:

All Americans, regardless of where they live, should have access to and receive the same level of high-quality health care. Patients in rural areas, however, face many obstacles with disproportionally more chronic conditions and more who are likely to be uninsured or underinsured.

Rural health care systems serve communities with an overworked and shrinking health care workforce. Financial pressures and changing demographics are forcing many rural hospitals to close.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Trump administration have placed an unprecedented priority on improving health care for Americans in rural communities. We are leveraging technology, advancing telehealth initiatives and implementing policies that cover more services to improve access and quality of care.

CMS recently issued a proposed rule that increases Medicare payments to rural hospitals, allowing them to improve quality, attract more talent and improve patient access. Many stakeholders have raised concerns that the Medicare hospital payment system disadvantages many rural hospitals. Our proposed rule brings payments to rural and other low-wage hospitals closer to their urban neighbors. On average, rural hospitals in Arkansas would see a 4.5 percent increase in Medicare payments based on our proposals.

While we've taken many steps to improve health care and access for patients in rural areas, our work isn't done. We encourage the public to give us feedback on our proposed rule at http://www.regulations.gov to help us better serve your communities.

Seema Verma

Administrator,

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Editorial on 05/16/2019

Print Headline: Thursday's Letters to the Editor

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