Financially Distressed Rural Hospitals in Four States


The effect of the outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) on the financial performance of rural hospitals was simulated in four states - Iowa, Texas, Washington, and West Virginia. Findings suggest that the profitability and cash position of small, government-owned, and Medicare-dependent hospitals will be adversely impacted by the OPPS. Results also suggest that the number of financially distressed rural hospitals will increase significantly. The small rural hospitals currently protected by the hold harmless provision are those most likely to be hardest hit by OPPS.

NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis