Summary: “There’s no one reason why a rural hospital closes. But the results are often similar – reduced access to certain forms of care,” Thomas Goldsmith writes at North Carolina Health News, an issue that’s important because fewer hospitals means less access to care and more consolidation of providers. “Across the United States, 76 rural hospitals have closed since 2010, three of them in North Carolina. A new report by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured attributes rural hospital closings to a broad range of factors. They include, but aren’t limited to, corporate decisions on profitability, lack of community expertise in dealing with large health-care organizations, changes in federal reimbursement policies, and some states’ decision not to expand Medicaid. The authors interviewed dozens of people involved with the closure of three rural hospitals. Those interviewed cited a shift from ‘mission’ – a focus on care – to ‘margin’ – a focus on the bottom line – as a major factor in the hospital closures. They also cited a lack of consideration or planning for the impact on the community, according to the study’s authors.” Thomas Goldsmith, “Kaiser Study: Rural Hospitals Close for Many Reasons,” North Carolina Health News.
Jeanne Pinder is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded... More by Jeanne Pinder