MONTPELIER (AP) - Two small, rural Vermont hospitals are getting a bonus courtesy of the "fiscal cliff" compromise passed last week by Congress.

The legislation that averted steep increases in federal taxes and steep cuts in federal spending includes about $2 million in funding for the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington and the Brattleboro Memorial Hospital.

Since 1990 a federal program helped small rural hospitals that have a high percentage of Medicare patients cope with fluctuating reimbursement rates. That program expired on Sept. 30.

Vermont's Democratic U.S. Rep. Peter Welch worked to include funds for the program in the legislation.

Welch said the funding provides fair reimbursement for those critical access rural hospitals .