Kennedy Urges CMS Administrator to Reconsider Action Endangering Rural Hospitals

“Now is the time we should be doing more to ensure the survival of rural hospitals, not expediting their demise. We ask you to please reconsider this action and work with Congress to ensure the long-term vitality of our rural hospitals.”

WASHINGTON (Aug. 4, 2020) – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) asked Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma to reconsider a regulatory action that will force rural providers to repay up to 80 percent of their forgiven Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans through reductions in future Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements.

“This action is unacceptable. Not only will this exacerbate financial burdens for rural hospitals already operating on razor thin margins, but it will likely prove to be a catalyst in expediting the rural hospital closure crisis at a moment when many of these rural areas are current COVID-19 hotspots in need of the most assistance,” wrote Kennedy.

“The PPP was designed to help struggling businesses survive the economic impact brought on by COVID-19 and served as a lifeline for the rural hospitals,” continued Kennedy. “Louisiana, for example, is home to 57 rural hospitals—nine of which are deemed vulnerable—and 44 percent are currently operating at a loss.”

The letter also notes that President Trump yesterday issued an executive order to provide assistance to rural health providers. (See Below)

“Now is the time we should be doing more to ensure the survival of rural hospitals, not expediting their demise. We ask you to please reconsider this action and work with Congress to ensure the long-term vitality of our rural hospitals,” Kennedy concluded.


CLTCC Announces Fall Semester Return to Campus Guidelines

In anticipation of the Fall semester, Central Louisiana Technical Community College (CLTCC) is continuing the COVID-19 safety guidelines currently employed during the Summer semester.

“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, CLTCC has taken proactive measures to ensure the safety of all visitors to our campuses,” said CLTCC Vice Chancellor of Finance, Administration, and Safety. “As we prepare to begin our Fall semester, CLTCC will continue to make proactive decisions grounded in providing services to our students, while also doing our
part to help stop the spread of the virus. The safety of our community is top priority.”

Guidelines include:

• CLTCC buildings and classrooms are restricted to CLTCC students, faculty, and staff only. Others will not be permitted in the classroom, offices, or in common areas at this time.
• Everyone entering a CLTCC building is required to complete a screening process.
• Faculty, Staff and Students are required to wear a face covering at all times inside a CLTCC building or classroom. While students are encouraged to provide their own face coverings CLTCC will provide upon request, provided inventory is available.
• To support physical distancing, access to CLTCC public spaces (library, study halls, computer labs) will be limited and social distancing is mandatory.
• Students who are immunocompromised and would like to attend classes on campus should contact the Office of Disability Services to receive accommodations. For employees this is the Human Resources Office, for students this is the Student Services Office at each campus.

In addition, students are encouraged to stay home from on-campus classes if they are sick or show signs related to COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath). Students testing positive for COVID-19 who have attended class on-campus should contact their instructor immediately.

“Flexibility will be key for Fall 2020,” said CLTCC Natchitoches Campus Dean and Safety Coordinator. “As they design the course syllabus, our instructors are keeping the unique and changing circumstances associated with COVID-19 in mind, making sure to allow for accommodating procedures that ensure instructional quality while supporting students.”

To that end, the college says all courses will have make-up procedures that supports students who need to miss class due to illness (online or on-campus). Also, given the dynamics of the virus, classes being held on campus are subject to change.

CLTCC noted sanitation stations will be available outside of classrooms and that proper hygiene practices will be strongly encouraged, including distancing in restroom facilities and vigorous hand washing for at least 20 seconds. Students should sanitize before entering the class and upon leaving.

“Our top priority is ensuring the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff while delivering the highest quality education. We appreciate everyone’s patience, flexibility, and understanding as we adapt to these health-related changes together,” said Chancellor Jimmy Sawtelle. For more information, the college encourages everyone to visit the following website:
https://bit.ly/3fzcXMc

Enrollment for the Fall session is ongoing through August 17. To enroll and register, visit www.CLTCC.edu/apply. For more information, contact the school via email at info@cltcc.edu or call 800-278-9855.

Central Louisiana Technical Community College (CLTCC) is a two-year technical and community college offering associate degrees, technical diplomas, industry certificates, and customized training in more than
20 disciplines to support local workforce development and prepare students for high-demand and highwage careers. CLTCC serves 11 parishes in Central Louisiana through its eight campuses and provides instruction in one state prison and one federal correctional institution. For more information, visit www.cltcc.edu.