Death by a Thousand Cuts

    Death by a Thousand Cuts

    During the past several years, hospitals that serve small rural communities across the nation have closed their doors at a disquieting rate, essentially one per month. Some towns never recover from the economic blow of a hospital closure: with no nearby hospital, businesses are hesitant to locate to the area.

    Economics and demographics work against small hospitals that provide care in remote, often impoverished areas. Declining populations, more elderly and uninsured patients, expensive equipment, few specialized services and treatments, and demand for more emergency and urgent care, neither of which bring in much revenue – all have contributed to rural healthcare’s death by a thousand cuts. For states that have not expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, declining reimbursements have been particularly onerous. Read more.

    This article was published in the Western Rural Development Center’s Rural Connections Spring 2017.

    Published on: May 17, 2017

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