Documents the variance in profitability among small-town
rural hospitals and evaluates the characteristics that
distinguish highly profitable small-town hospitals from
struggling ones. It also reports on strategies that
small-town hospital administrators are using to achieve
financial success and discusses public policy priorities
for assisting small-town hospitals in rural America.
Among the findings are that patient volumes appear to
explain a significant portion of the difference in
small-town hospital profitability. No small-town hospital
with fewer than 300 admissions was able to generate
significant profits and no small-town hospital with more
than 2,500 admissions generated significant losses. Among
the hospitals with between 300 and 2,500 admissions,
there is a wide variance in profitability. The case
studies suggest that lower staffing levels and higher
levels of visiting specialists can improve profitability.
They also suggest that bad debt burdens can create
significant financial strain.