Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) held a press conference today to announce the introduction of the National Trauma Center Stabilization Act. She was accompanied by two representatives from the National Foundation for Trauma Care, Dr. Ronald Maier from Harborview Hospital in Seattle, and trauma surgeons from the Medical College of South Carolina, Ohio State University, University of Tennessee, Yale Medical Center and Med Star of the DC metropolitan area.
The cost for providing trauma care has increased, often trauma centers provide care for which they are not paid for by either insurance or the patient, and the economy has affected their ability to provide service. The bill will provide assistance for trauma centers that are facing economic hardships by reauthorizing federal funding for those centers facing the highest uncompensated costs, provide emergency funding to those centers facing closure, and provide financial support for core mission services.
The House companion bill, HR 936, was introduced on February 10, 2009. It establishes four programs to award grants to public or nonprofit trauma centers across the nation that are facing downgrades or closure. The bill authorizes appropriations for such grants for FY 2010 – FY 2015 and specifies percentages to be reserved for the different types of grants.