Today, Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) offered an amendment to H.R. 3854, the Small Business Financing and Investment Act, to expand health information technology loan guarantees to home health care agencies.

“Our home health care agencies provide an invaluable service and we must provide them with the support they need to improve the quality of care for our seniors,” said Congressman Adam Smith. “These businesses provide efficient and effective services for patients at home rather than in more expensive facilities, saving money and preventing unnecessary hospital and emergency room visits. Expanding access to capital for these agencies will help to improve their delivery of care and reduce health care costs for our seniors.”

A key provision of the bill includes a small business health information technology financing program that will create loan guarantees for up to 90 percent of the amount of a loan made to qualified, eligible professionals to be used for the acquisition and installation of health information technology equipment and programs.

Initially, the program excluded home care agencies. Smith’s amendment addressed this omission by expanding the definition of an “eligible professional” under H.R. 3854 to include home health care agencies, making them eligible to receive loan guarantees for health information technology.

Overall, this bipartisan bill will comprehensively expand the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) lending programs to spur job creation and meet the needs of American small business. It will help a range of small businesses including fledgling start-ups, established firms seeking to go public, veteran-owned businesses, rural and urban businesses in need, small manufacturers, health care providers, and entrepreneurs advancing American clean energy. The increased loan limits and guarantees included in this legislation are critical to supporting small business endeavors that bring about jobs and local economic benefits. This legislation will also complement the recently announced Treasury program that will make TARP funds available to local community banks in order to provide the capital necessary to increase lending to small businesses. For more information on this bill click
here.