In April 2017, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released their fourth Hospital Quality Star Rating list. Since the first release, stakeholders have been publicly debating the star rating scale’s usefulness in comparing hospital quality, but little focus has been given to the large number of rural hospitals with no rating. In the… Read more »
Disparities in health status and access to health care exist between people living in rural areas and those in urban areas. The displays selected indicators of access to health care, health behavior/risk factors, and mortality rates, comparing rural to urban residents.
The North Carolina Rural Health Research Program produces a list of rural and urban U.S. hospitals each year. This list includes 4,768 acute and 1,373 specialty hospitals that were reported open on January 1, 2016.
In 1983, Congress created the Sole Community Hospital (SCH) program to support small rural hospitals for which “by reason of factors such as isolated location, weather conditions, travel conditions, or absence of other hospitals, is the sole source of inpatient hospital services reasonably available in a geographic area to Medicare beneficiaries.” As such, Medicare SCH… Read more »
Thanks to a temporary, but substantial expansion of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Low Volume Hospital (LVH) Program, around 500 rural hospitals benefit from LVH payment adjustment. When it was originally implemented in 2005 only five rural hospitals qualified. Under the program, CMS provides an additional payment to qualifying hospitals for the higher costs associated with… Read more »
From January 2005 to July 2016, 118 rural hospitals have closed permanently, not including seven others that closed and subsequently reopened. The number of closures has increased each year since 2010, and in the first half of 2016, the closure rate surpassed two closures per month. Hospital closures impact millions of rural residents in communities… Read more »
More Americans are now aware of the financial challenges faced by rural hospitals. Media coverage of the 76 rural hospital closures between January 2010 and July 2016 has highlighted the health care access and economic challenges facing rural America. Rural hospital closures are not a new phenomenon – hundreds of rural hospitals closed in the 1980s and… Read more »
Assisted living has been in evolution for decades, and now more than ever, providers must address the quality of their services and care in light of variations across settings, increased resident acuity, and changes spurred by health care reform. In response, the Center for Excellence in Assisted Living (CEAL) funded researchers from the University of… Read more »
The implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is changing hospital reimbursement in important ways. The most significant changes stem from increasing access to health insurance coverage for previously uninsured or under-insured populations. Since rural residents are more likely than urban residents to be uninsured, increased access to health insurance should, in… Read more »
For almost four decades, Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) (currently numbering about 4,100) have served patients from underserved rural areas. Although Medicaid is an important payer for RHCs, little is known about Medicaid patients and the services provided to them partly because of the complexity of identifying claims generated from RHCs in Medicaid claims data sources…. Read more »
In 1977, Public Law 95-210 created the Rural Health Clinic (RHC) Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement designation for qualified primary care practices. RHCs must be located in non-urban areas with documented health care shortages. There are currently more than 4,100 RHCs across the U.S. Some RHCs operate as independent medical practices, while others are part of… Read more »
The popular business quote “No margin, no mission” succinctly states the importance of profitability. The notion that if a hospital doesn’t make enough money to keep its doors open, its higher purpose is moot may be a simplistic view, but historic and recent evidence suggest that unprofitability can reduce hospital services and quality, or worse,… Read more »
More Americans are now aware of the financial challenges faced by rural hospitals. Media coverage of the 66 rural hospital closures between January 2010 and January 2016 has highlighted the health care access and economic challenges facing rural America. Rural hospital closures are not a new phenomenon – hundreds of rural hospitals closed in the… Read more »
From 2005 to 2015, 112 rural hospital closures have been identified (North Carolina Rural Health Research Program, 2015). Although six of these closed hospitals have since reopened, the remaining closures impact millions of rural residents in communities that are typically older and poorer, more dependent on public insurance programs, and in worse health than residents… Read more »
From 2005 through 2015, more than 100 rural hospitals have closed their doors to patients in need of inpatient services. Though a handful of these closed hospitals have since reopened, the remaining closures leave millions of rural residents at greater risk of negative health and economic hardship due to the loss of local acute care services. Policymakers,… Read more »