A new report from the Bipartisan Policy Center and the Center for Outcomes Research and Education finds that many stakeholders in seven rural states believe rural communities should transform their critical-access hospitals into hybrid clinics that provide primary care and emergency services.
Congress' ongoing delays to fund key Medicare programs and restore DSH payments keep hospitals in limbo.
Rural hospitals continue to face fairly dire financial times. The National Rural Health Association last year suggested that more than 670 rural hospitals were at risk of closing. Since 2010, when three rural hospitals shuttered, the annual pace of closures has more than doubled.
Rural hospitals say they are disproportionately harmed by Anthem's decision to limit imaging coverage to stand-alone facilities because they can't compete financially.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue earlier in the week announced the agency would give more than $1 billion to healthcare organizations in rural areas of 41 states.
Rural hospitals are worried Congress' delay in funding now-expired Medicare extenders will throw them into more financial instability as the providers face a continuing crisis of closures.
The CMS has expanded an experiment that pays rural hospitals the actual cost of care versus standard Medicare rates. Executives say the funds are key to ensure quality care.
Mayo Clinic doubles operating income in third quarter, giving ammo to critics of rural hospital cuts
While Mayo Clinic's financials improved, it has endured harsh criticism from residents and public officials of Albert Lea, Minn., who decry Mayo's decision to strip services from the rural community's hospital.
Rural hospitals have long wanted to be part of the so-called 340B program, too, but were blocked from participating until the Affordable Care Act . But, unlike bigger hospitals, rural hospitals can't get discounts on expensive drugs that treat rare diseases.
With higher rates of Medicaid patients, rural hospitals would be hit harder than their urban counterparts if Medicaid expansion ends as proposed in the new Graham-Cassidy bill.
As rural providers offering obstetric care dwindled over the past decade, women in those areas have seen greater health disparities and remaining providers feel the financial strain.
Rural areas are often bypassed under the agency's existing guidelines for awarding grants for veterans' homes, but Veterans Affairs Secretary Dr. David Shulkin says that will change soon.