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

Rural Hospital Closures: Number and Characteristics of Affected Hospitals and Contributing Factors
Examines rural hospital closures from 2013-2017, including their financial health, hospital characteristics, and the impact on healthcare access. Compares data to 2008-2012 closures and discusses the implications for federal healthcare policies. Addresses the role of Medicare rural hospital designations, new healthcare delivery and payment models, and other rural Health and Human Services (HHS) programs. Identifies the number of rural hospitals that closed for each state.
Additional links: Full Report
Date: 09/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Government Accountability Office
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Update: Independently Owned Pharmacy Closures in Rural America, 2003-2018
Provides updated information on independently owned rural pharmacy closures from 2003 to 2018. Includes state-level data on rural pharmacy closures. Builds on past publications from RUPRI regarding rural pharmacy closures.
Author(s): Abiodun Salako, Fred Ullrich, Keith J. Mueller
Date: 07/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
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Ten Strategies for Improving Health Care: Report from NCSL’s Task Force on Innovations in State Health Systems
Reviews state policy healthcare innovations, including those focused on rural healthcare issues. Covers what states have done to address rural hospital closures and health workforce shortages. Highlights value-based payment for rural hospitals in Pennsylvania, a pilot rural hospital hub and spoke model in Georgia, and community paramedic certification in Minnesota.
Date: 05/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Conference of State Legislatures
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EMS Services in Rural America: Challenges and Opportunities
Policy brief describing challenges for rural EMS providers, including workforce shortages and inconsistent funding. Features statistics including percentage of potentially excess deaths for 5 leading causes of death, with breakdowns by metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas, and average EMS call time response and distribution of all-volunteer and all-paid staff EMS agencies, with breakdowns by 4 levels of population density. Discusses effects of the opioid crisis and Critical Access Hospital closures on provision of EMS services.
Author(s): Nikki King, Marcus Pigman, Sarah Huling, Brian Hanson
Date: 05/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Rural Health Association
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Hospital Closure: Does It Affect Patient Time in an Ambulance?
Presentation slides from the 2018 National Rural Health Association (NRHA) annual conference describing a study analyzing the potential impact of hospital closures on ambulances transporting patient to emergency departments (EDs). Includes information on rural and urban hospital closures from 2011 to 2014, and hospital and ambulance characteristics.
Author(s): SuZanne Troske, Alison Davis
Date: 05/2018
Type: Presentation Slides
Sponsoring organization: Rural and Underserved Health Research Center
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Rural Health Care in America: Challenges and Opportunities
Presents the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance full committee hearing on improving rural healthcare across the country. Features testimonies from representatives of the NC Rural Health Research Program Sheps Center for Health Services Research, the RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis, San Luis Valley Health, UnityPoint Health, and Geisinger Health.
Additional links: Statement by James E. Mathews, Statement by Orrin G. Hatch, Statement by Ron Wyden, Testimony by George H. Pink, Testimony by Karen M. Murphy, Testimony by Keith J. Mueller, Testimony by Konnie Martin, Testimony by Susan K. Thompson
Date: 05/2018
Type: Video/Multimedia
Sponsoring organization: Senate Committee on Finance
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Rural Hospital Closures
Webinar recording discusses rural hospital closures across the U.S. Details the various causes of closures and the effect this has on healthcare access in rural communities, as well as possible solutions for preventing rural hospital closures. Features presentations from representatives of the NC Rural Health Research Program, the Episcopal Health Foundation, and the A&M Rural and Community Health Institute.
Additional links: Audio Recording, PowerPoint Handout, Webinar Transcript
Date: 01/2018
Type: Video/Multimedia
Sponsoring organization: Rural Health Information Hub
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Range Matters: Rural Averages Can Conceal Important Information
Findings brief showing how research focusing on averages without considering data range can conceal important information about average rural hospital profitability, distance between hospitals, and HIV prevalence by county.
Author(s): Meagan Clawar, Kristie Thompson, George H. Pink
Date: 01/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: North Carolina Rural Health Research Program
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Rural Health Research Recap: Effects of Rural Hospital Closures
Summarizes key findings from the Rural Health Research Centers' most recent research on the effects of rural hospital closures. Examines rural hospital closures and conversions, payment models, the loss of obstetric services, and more. Provides links to each of the referenced source documents.
Date: 12/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Rural Health Research Gateway
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Rural Health Research Recap: Rural Hospital Closures
Summarizes key findings from the Rural Health Research Centers' most recent research on rural hospital closures. Discusses hospitals by U.S. census region, rural hospital closures between 2005 and 2017, urban and rural hospital profitability, and the financial distress index. Provides links to each of the referenced source documents.
Date: 12/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Rural Health Research Gateway
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