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Congress passes Hatch bill to expand rural health care services

FILE: Senator Orrin Hatch addresses members of the Utah Legislature, at the Utah State Capitol Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016, in Salt Lake City.
FILE: Senator Orrin Hatch addresses members of the Utah Legislature, at the Utah State Capitol Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016, in Salt Lake City.
Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Congress has passed a bill sponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch to improve access to health care in rural communities.

The House approved the Expanding Capacity for Health Outcomes Act on Monday, while the Senate passed it last week. Hatch called it a resounding victory for Utah.

"With a large rural population, this legislation will extend access to high quality health services far beyond the limits of our cities so that all Utahns no matter where they live will be able to get the care they need, when they need it," he said in a statement.

The bill uses technology to connect patients and providers and facilitates the integration of innovative telehealth models into health delivery systems.