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Gov. Hutchinson announces financial support for nurses, rural hospitals during COVID-19 pandemic

The governor said workers in nursing facilities (nurses), whether caring for in-home patients or in a facility, will receive an additional $1,000 per month.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark — In a press conference Thursday afternoon, Governor Hutchinson announced additional financial support for healthcare workers in long-term care/in-home facilities and rural hospitals, due to their vulnerability during the coronavirus pandemic.

One initiative involves paying non-physician direct care workers working with long-term care patients—which includes nurses in nursing homes— will be receiving an additional $1,000 per month. If those workers are in a facility treating COVID-19 patients, they will receive an additional $2,000 per month.

The initiatives also give support to rural hospitals, independent physician practices, and other Medicaid providers that are struggling as a result of the rapidly increasing COVID-19 public health emergency.

"We're going to need these healthcare workers and they're at risk," Gov. Hutchinson explained. "We want to make sure that they are incentivized to be there, in addition to their public-mindedness."

The governor hopes the additional financial support will also help with the recruitment of nurses to the at-risk facilities.

Key facts to know:

  • 349 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas 
  • 1,868 total tests
  • 1,519 negative test results
  • 3 reported deaths
  • All public schools are closed until April 17

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