The newly proposed “Reinforcing Essential Health Systems for Communities Act” would create a new federal hospital designation that would create a mechanism for directing more federal resources to safety-net hospitals that care for more low-income and uninsured patients.

The bipartisan bill, sponsored by Representatives Lori Trahan (D-MA) and David Valadao (R-CA), would, according to Rep. Trahan,

… provide federal lawmakers with the avenues necessary to target funding and resources to these critical facilities – just as we’ve done with other types of hospitals that serve specific populations or regions.

Hospitals would qualify for “essential health system” status by meeting one of three criteria:  disproportionate patient percentage, deemed disproportionate share hospital status, or Medicare uncompensated care factor.  More than 1000 hospitals across the country currently meet these criteria.

Learn more about the Reinforcing Essential Health Systems for Communities Act from this news release from Representative Trahan’s office and this draft of the bill.