Research Alert: July 27, 2022

Types of Rural and Urban Hospitals and Counties Where They Are Located

This brief provides a snapshot of the types of rural and urban hospitals and the counties where they are located.

Key Findings
As of December 2020, there are 4,306 acute hospitals in the U.S.—1,334 Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs), 11 cancer hospitals, 1,924 Prospective Payment System hospitals (PPS-only), and 1,037 PPS hospitals with special payment designations. 2,176 hospitals are in rural locations and 2,130 are in urban locations.
  • There are CAHs, PPS-only hospitals, and PPS hospitals with special payment designations in both urban and rural locations.
  • Hospitals in rural locations are primarily CAHs and hospitals in urban locations are primarily PPS-only hospitals.
  • Counties with < 50K population are primarily served by CAHs and counties with > 50K population by PPS-only hospitals.
  • The acute average daily censes (ADCs) in hospitals in counties with < 50K population are much lower than the acute ADCs in hospitals in counties with > 50K population.
Contact Information:

George H. Pink, PhD
North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center
Phone: 919.843.2728

Additional Resources of Interest: