From 2010 through 2014, 47 rural hospitals ceased
providing inpatient services in 23 states across the
country ("closed"). Among the 47 closed hospitals, 26
hospitals no longer provide any healthcare services
("abandoned"), and 21 continue to provide a mix of health
services but no inpatient care ("converted").
These closures have affected approximately 800,000 people
in the markets with abandoned hospitals and 700,000
people in the markets with converted hospitals. Loss of a
rural hospital could impact access to certain necessary
health services and is concerning as residents of rural
communities are typically older and poorer, more
dependent on public insurance programs, and have poorer
health status than urban residents.
Policy-makers, researchers, and rural residents are
concerned and interested in determining why these
hospitals are closing, whether the rate will continue to
climb, and what effects there could be on local health
care providers and the communities they serve.
This policy brief compares selected characteristics of
abandoned rural hospitals and their markets to those of
converted rural hospitals.
- How do abandoned rural hospitals compare to converted
- What has been the perceived impact of rural hospital