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

Keeping the Doors Open: Vulnerable Rural Hospitals Benefit from Federally Funded Technical Assistance
Features the work of Texas A&M's Center for Optimizing Rural Health (CORH), which provides technical assistance through a federally funded program for vulnerable hospitals. Highlights the experiences of a participating Oklahoma hospital.
Author(s): Kay Miller Temple
Citation: Rural Monitor
Date: 09/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Rural Health Information Hub
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Iowa Analysis of COVID-19 Impacts on Nursing Staff
Analyzes the impact of COVID-19 on the Iowa nursing workforce through survey data collection beginning in July 2020. Provides information on nursing workforce impacts such as changes in recruitment, services, support systems, early retirement, and closures, broken down by employer type, rural versus urban location, and size.
Date: 08/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organizations: Iowa Board of Nursing, Iowa Center for Nursing Workforce, Iowa Workforce Development
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Rural Hospital Closings in Southern States
Interactive map depicting 59 rural hospital closures from January 2012 - July 2021 in Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas. Uses data from the North Carolina Health Research Program.
Date: 07/2021
Type: Map/Mapping System
Sponsoring organization: Arkansas Center for Health Improvement
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Rural Communities at Risk: Widening Health Disparities Present New Challenges in Aftermath of Pandemic
Describes the health status, health disparities, and socioeconomic disparities of vulnerable rural communities. Analyzes the relationship between rural community vulnerability and the stability of the rural health safety net. Includes information on racial health disparities within rural communities.
Date: 07/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: The Chartis Group
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Access to Affordable Care in Rural America: Current Trends and Key Challenges
Describes geographic and demographic challenges that contribute to healthcare access and health disparities in rural areas. Covers patterns of insurance coverage between rural and urban areas, healthcare provider shortages, and rural hospital vulnerability and closures. Discusses programs and services supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to reduce barriers to care in rural communities, including telehealth, healthcare workforce programs, and Rural Health Clinics and community health centers.
Author(s): Gina Turrini, D.Keith Branham, Lucy Chen, et al.
Date: 07/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
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How Many Hospitals Might Convert to a Rural Emergency Hospital (REH)?
Results of a study to predict the number of rural hospitals with 50 beds or fewer that are likely to consider conversion to Rural Emergency Hospital designation under the Medicare program. Features statistics on number and percent of complete closures and converted closures between 2011-2020 among hospitals with 50 beds or fewer, and open hospitals as of 2019-2020, with breakdowns by financial measures, operational measures, Medicare payment type, and census division.
Author(s): George H. Pink, Kristie W. Thompson, H. Ann Howard, G. Mark Holmes
Date: 07/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: North Carolina Rural Health Research Program
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MedPAC Report to the Congress: Medicare and the Health Care Delivery System, June 2021
Evaluates Medicare payment issues and offers recommendations to the U.S. Congress. Chapter 5 presents an interim report on Medicare beneficiaries' access to care in rural areas. Also includes chapters on Medicare Advantage benchmark policy, alternative payment models, private equity and Medicare, the skilled nursing facility value-based purchasing program, indirect medical education payments, Medicare coverage of vaccines, separately payable drugs in the hospital outpatient prospective payment system, clinical laboratory fee schedule payment rates, and the relationship between clinician services and other Medicare services.
Additional links: Executive Summary
Date: 06/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Medicare Payment Advisory Commission
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Fast Facts: U.S. Rural Hospitals
Infographic presenting data on rural hospitals using the American Hospital's Annual Survey Database for fiscal years 2015 through 2019. Includes information on the declining number of community hospitals, as well as data on rural community hospitals by ownership type and number of beds.
Date: 05/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: American Hospital Association
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Supporting and Sustaining Rural Hospitals
Describes state and federal actions to support and safeguard rural hospitals. Discusses appropriated funding opportunities for struggling hospitals, Medicaid coverage and eligibility, alternative payment models, and technical assistance programs.
Author(s): Noah Cruz
Date: 04/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Conference of State Legislatures
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Place and Population Matter in General Surgeon Location and Practice Structure
Examines ways in which population changes over time in different geographical regions of the United States have affected the availability of general surgeons and quality of care. Explores the implications of hospital mergers on the viability of rural hospitals.
Author(s): Thomas C. Ricketts
Citation: JAMA Network Open, 4(4)
Date: 04/2021
Type: Document
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