Low-interest loan program supports rural Commonwealth hospitals
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Governor Andy Beshear announced that the Kentucky Rural Hospital Loan Program (KRHLP) is providing $ 20 million in low-interest loans to help rural hospitals across the Commonwealth of Nations.
The administered funds will have a direct impact on the 1.8 million Kentuckians living in rural areas by maintaining or upgrading hospital facilities, retaining or increasing the existing rural hospital staff and providing health services that are currently not available to citizens.
“Hospitals are a cornerstone of rural communities and a key contributor to economic development,” said Beshear. “Our goal is to create a better Kentucky for all of our residents, and that starts with investing in one of the most vital infrastructure: our rural hospitals. This innovative loan program is the latest advancement in our work to ensure that every Kentuckian in all 120 counties has access to the high quality health services they need, close to home. I look forward to seeing the impact of this program for generations to come.
Any hospital located in a Kentucky county with a population of less than 50,000 is eligible to apply for the KRHLP program. To be eligible for funding, a rural hospital must apply for funds to maintain or upgrade existing facilities, existing staff, or services available to rural citizens.
Eligible hospitals can receive a loan amount ranging from $ 25,000 to $ 1 million per hospital facility with a fixed interest rate of 1%.
The KRHLP was established during the 2020 regular session of the General Assembly. The Cabinet for Economic Development and the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) will administer the revolving loan fund program.
Interested applicants should review data from the U.S. Census Bureau 2020 and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services Kentucky Hospital Directory by county to confirm their status as a rural hospital in the state. Additional loan requirements and the application process are now available on the Kentucky Firm’s Business Incentives webpage.
Cabinet Secretary for Health and Family Services Eric Friedlander stressed the importance of continued support to health facilities statewide.
“Rural hospitals face unique challenges in keeping their infrastructure up to date. These challenges put undue financial pressure on all rural hospitals, and this fund is an important start in providing the support needed to keep these hospitals relevant and open, ”said Secretary Friedlander. “The onset of the global pandemic has only heightened their importance. Getting medical attention, and promptly, is often essential for Kentuckians. The more our hospitals are supported, the more we are able to maintain or improve access to care. We applaud this support to our hospitals. “
State Representative Danny Bentley of Russell sponsored the legislation in the last regular session that led to the creation of the KRHLP.
“As a pharmacist in rural Kentucky, I see first-hand the daily struggle our people go through due to limited access to health care,” said representative Bentley. “Three years ago, we started working on this loan program because we knew it could provide the support our rural hospitals need. I am proud to have developed and adopted this measure, and I appreciate that my colleagues in the House and the Senate adopted it and that the governor proclaimed it into law.