Bill to assist struggling rural hospitals clears KY House

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – The Kentucky House has voted to create a loan program for struggling rural hospitals.

The bill passed 80-0 Friday and now goes to the Senate.

Hospitals situated in counties with fewer than 50,000 people would be eligible for the loans.

The bill’s lead sponsor is Republican Representative Danny Bentley. He says more than 60 hospitals are in those counties and more than a dozen are considered “vulnerable to closure.”

The measure’s progress follows the recent announcement that Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital in northeastern Kentucky will close later this year. The closure will affect about 1,000 employees.

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