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Rural Health Information Hub

Rural Health
News by Topic: Closures of healthcare facilities and services

Sep 26, 2023 - A New Hampshire hospital system is offering a virtual program to both educate rural healthcare providers and connect them with specialists during emergency and difficult births using a hub-and-spoke model. Notes that 40% of the state's hospitals have closed their labor and delivery departments since 2011, primarily in rural areas. Discusses costs associated with the program as well as sustainability concerns.
Source: Health Leaders Media
Sep 25, 2023 - Part 1 of a documentary discussing shortages of physicians in rural areas. Offers overview of why shortages exist including historic trends in physician training, clinic ownership trends, facility closures, and more. Captions are available in the video player.
Source: Stat News
Sep 22, 2023 - Announcement of a review in Massachusetts of access to quality maternal healthcare issues, particularly for rural and underserved communities following the closure of a facility. Includes evaluation of transportation to inpatient facilities in the affected area. Also includes a statewide review of access for rural and underserved communities to prenatal, postpartum, and birthing services as well as recommendations for increasing access to care.
Source: Office of Governor Maura Healey
Sep 17, 2023 - Describes the lack of maternity units in rural hospitals. More than 2 million women live in maternity care deserts. Notes reasons for recent closures include reimbursement rates, workforce issues, fewer births, and financial difficulties for rural facilities. Discusses possibilities and challenges that come with free-standing birth centers, proposed as a solution to the shortages.
Source: ABC News
Sep 14, 2023 - Offers overview of a federal proposal to set minimum staffing levels at U.S. nursing homes and discusses the potential impact on rural facilities, primarily facility closures. Discusses workforce shortages, quality of care issues, and access to specialty care.
Source: NPR, KFF Health News
Sep 11, 2023 - Describes the role nurse practitioners (NPs) could play in easing physician shortages and hospital closings in rural areas. Between 2008 and 2016, rural physicians declined 12.8% and NPs increased 17.6%. Notes the holistic training NPs receive as especially beneficial in rural communities. Discusses concerns by other healthcare practitioners regarding scope creep and patient safety.
Source: Health Leaders Media
Sep 8, 2023 - Summarizes discussions had at a Georgia State Senate committee meeting tasked with studying workforce shortages in rural areas of the state. Discusses Health Professional Shortage Areas, recruitment and retention challenges, hospital closures, and reimbursement rates.
Source: GPB News, PBS, NPR
Sep 5, 2023 - Highlights the common challenges with offering rural healthcare in America and efforts to overcome those challenges. Discusses the promises of telehealth for increasing access to specialists, using nurse practitioners to reduce the number of physician shortage areas, scope of practice policies, and the financial stability of rural hospitals.
Source: Health Leaders Media
Aug 15, 2023 - Blog post highlighting the shortage of nursing professionals in rural America and the challenges that come with fixing shortages. Discusses hospital closures, recruitment and retention of workforce, nursing school enrollment levels, health disparities for rural residents, and more. Suggests strategies to increase the nursing workforce.
Source: Daily Nurse
Aug 7, 2023 - A freestanding emergency department is opening in rural Eastern Tennessee after the hospital closed in 2019 with funding and other support from the University of Tennessee Medical Center. Describes how the community has dealt with the decreased access to healthcare since the closure. Notes the importance of nearby emergency services in trauma situations. The facility aims to be a model for other rural communities that have lost their hospital.
Source: The Daily Yonder