Recent Press Releases

Washington, DC —  Senator John Thune today cosponsored the Rural Hospital and Provider Equity Act of 2006, which was introduced by Senator Craig Thomas (R-WY), Chairman of the Senate Rural Health Caucus. This legislation contains Senator Thune's previously introduced Fostering Independence Through Technology (FITT) Act. The FITT Act would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish pilot projects across the country to provide incentives for home health agencies to purchase remote monitoring technology and place it in the homes of qualified Medicare beneficiaries.

"There should be no difference between the quality of care that my constituents in South Dakota receive and constituents in urban states such as New York receive. Cancer, diabetes and other diseases do not discriminate between people in rural or urban areas and there should be no discrimination between the health care services available in Lemmon, South Dakota and health care services available in New York City.

"Of South Dakota's 66 counties, 44 are classified as medically underserved areas - areas that have insufficient health resources, manpower or facilities, to meet the medical needs of the population. The sheer vastness of South Dakota poses significant challenges in meeting the health care needs of our population. The Rural Hospital and Provider Equity Act includes hospital, physician, home health, ambulance and telehealth provisions that have the ability to make the distances of South Dakota more manageable and give families access to the quality health care they deserve.

"Both the FITT Act and the Rural Hospital and Provider Equity Act of 2006 would help improve access to quality health care for families and individuals in rural America," said Thune.