Statement by Steve Ahnen, President, New Hampshire Hospital Association 
August 20, 2021 
Today, the Legislative Fiscal Committee approved federal COVID-19 relief funds for our Critical Access Hospitals.  We are thankful for the favorable vote of the committee to move this forward. 
During the consideration of the funding, a minority of members questioned the ability for hospitals to mandate vaccination of their healthcare workers.  We believe that requiring vaccines of our workforce is absolutely the right thing to do to protect the health and safety of our patients, our workforce and our communities.  All hospitals will make these determinations independently on when and how to implement a vaccine mandate policy and will do so in compliance with state and federal laws.  The science and real-world data have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines, and truly are the path that will lead us out of the pandemic. 
Fortunately, the majority of the Legislative Fiscal Committee passed this important provision.  We applaud and thank those members that stood beside our hospital and health system heroes.
Download the statement here.

The New Hampshire Hospital Association (NHHA) submitted comments on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) physician fee schedule (PFS) proposed rule for calendar year (CY) 2020.


Read the full comments submitted here.

Steve Ahnen, president of the New Hampshire Hospital Association, released the below statement on the budget compromise achieved:

This agreement allows New Hampshire to move beyond the budget stalemate of the past few months and move forward on several important initiatives.  This compromise budget makes investments in a number of key areas vital to the health of our patients, including mental health and substance use, as well as providing an increase in Medicaid rates for all providers to help address workforce shortages and gaps in our health care system caused by New Hampshire’s low Medicaid reimbursement rates.  We appreciate the efforts of Governor Sununu, Senate President Donna Soucy, Senate Finance Chairman Lou D’Allesandro, House Speaker Steve Shurtleff and House Finance Committee Chairman Mary Jane Wallner in working to reach this compromise, and we urge the support of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

The New Hampshire Hospital Association (NHHA) recently submitted comments on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) hospital outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) and ambulatory surgical center (ASC) payment system proposed rule for calendar year (CY) 2020.


Read the full comments submitted here.

Today, November 15th, the New Hampshire Hospital Association is proud to join other state and national rural stakeholders in celebrating National Rural Health Day.

National Rural Health Day was created to recognize those who serve the vital health needs of nearly 60 million people residing in America’s rural communities, and the importance of rural healthcare providers who work tirelessly to address the barriers patients face in accessing healthcare when they need it.

New Hampshire has 13 Critical Access Hospitals throughout the state that support their communities by delivering high quality healthcare in very rural, underserved areas of the state.  These hospitals are engaging in innovative programs like telehealth medicine that allow New Hampshire’s rural health providers to coordinate care, stay connected with each other and urban tertiary care centers.  In addition, they partner with the state’s tertiary care hospitals to bring expert, specialty care to rural patients where they live through a variety of collaborations.  They collaborate with the State Office of Rural Health, rural healthcare providers and others to create partnerships that improve the health and well-being of their communities.

Beyond the issue of care, rural hospitals also serve as economic engines for the communities they serve, often existing as the largest employers in their communities for generations of families.  New Hampshire’s rural hospitals recruit and sustain physicians, specialists and other clinicians to provide care, and the availability of that care is an important factor in attracting business and industry to our state. 

It is because of their efforts in ensuring access to care and status as community and economic anchors, that the Rural Health Coalition (RHC), which helps to coordinate the work of New Hampshire’s 13 critical access hospitals, is being honored with the 2018 Community Star recognition from the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH), along with colleagues across the country for delivering excellence in rural health settings over the past year.  The RHC is led by a CAH CEO each year and we were fortunate to have Maria Ryan, Ph.D., CEO at Cottage Hospital in Woodsville, NH, who served in that role this past year.  Mike Peterson, President of Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin, NH, will serve as Chair in the coming year.

It is because of the dedication and commitment of New Hampshire’s rural health care leaders to ensure their communities have access to healthcare, and the compassion with which they deliver that care to their patients and families, that we honor New Hampshire’s rural healthcare providers today and every day. 


The Rural Health Coalition recognized as a 2018 Community Star by the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH)


Community Star image