2024

March 4, 2024 – A KFF Health News Report discusses the financial problems faced by rural hospitals and how these directly impact patient care in rural and underserved communities. The article flags a Chartis report that noted half of rural hospitals lost money in the past year, up from 43% the previous year. It also identified 418 rural hospitals across the U.S. that are vulnerable to closure. | Read the Article

January 3, 2024 – A Becker’s Hospital Review article highlights the ongoing financial and labor shortage concerns of rural hospital leaders. The article speaks to rural hospitals being worried about rising closures, and cites insufficient reimbursement as a main concern. It also mentions that, in 2023, more than 300 rural hospitals were at risk of closure due to financial issues. | Read the Article

2023

November 2, 2023 – A Becker’s Hospital Review article highlights 104 rural hospitals have closed since 2005, with another 89 facilities no longer providing inpatient services. Thirty-seven of those 104 closures have occurred since 2020, highlighting the amplified financial challenges that rural hospitals face amidst workforce shortages, rising costs and reimbursement issues. The article notes significant policy change is necessary to attract a rural-centric pipeline of health professionals and establish payment methodologies that sustain hospitals in low volume and safety-net environments. | Read the Article

April 11, 2023 – A KFF Health News article highlights how doctor shortages distress rural America, where few residency programs exist. The article notes that the relative lack of providers is one reason people living in rural areas experience worse health outcomes than people who live in urban areas. The article demonstrates a need for policy initiatives that allow for more state and federal investment in rural medical training programs to keep them open, growing and sustainable. | Read the Article

April 3, 2023 – A Modern Healthcare article highlights a study indicating many rural hospitals sought mergers or closed between 2010 and 2018 amid financial distress. The article demonstrates a need for policy changes that prevent rural hospitals from cutting services, merging or closing as they manage higher labor costs and reimbursement cuts. | Read the Article

January 17, 2023 – Axios article on cuts to hospital obstetrics highlights the negative impacts on rural hospitals, further demonstrating the need for reimbursement stability and predictability so that rural hospitals can continue to offer vital services such as maternity care | Read the Article

2022

June 17, 2022 – Lawmakers send FY 2023 IPPS comment letter to CMS on impact of annual MS-DRG changes on rural hospitals | Read the Comment

May 2022 – Bipartisan Policy Center releases report on the impact of COVID-19 on the rural health landscape | Read the Report

2021

September 30, 2021 – KHN article on COVID-19 death rate in rural America demonstrates continued divide between rural and urban populations with respect to access to care and health outcomes | Read the Article

September 2021 – New data brief from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics shows that death rates were higher in rural areas than in urban areas from 1999-2019 | Read the Data Brief

2020

September 2020 – HHS releases Rural Action Plan | Read the Plan

August 31, 2020 – HHS, FCC and USDA issue a Memorandum of Understanding to establish the Rural Telehealth Initiative | Read the Memorandum

August 22, 2020 – NPR Report: Rural Hospitals are Sinking Under COVID-19 Financial Pressures | Read the Report

June/July 2020 – Lawmakers introduce Coalition-backed legislation to support rural hospitals.  | Read the Bill and Press Release

April 2020 – Bipartisan Policy Center releases report: Confronting Rural America’s Health Care Crisis | Read the Report

March 13, 2020 – Lawmakers send letter to CMS on MS-DRG classification system and its impact on rural hospitals | Read the Letter

2019

May 14, 2019 – Kaiser Health News article on rural hospital closure | Read the Article

May 11, 2019 – “Who’s going to take care of these people?” — Washington Post article on rural hospital closures | Read the Article

May 5, 2019 – Minnesota’s Star Tribune article on the state of rural hospitals in Minnesota | Read the Article

April 10, 2019 – NBC News video segment: Rural hospitals are closing — what now? | Watch the Video

April 10, 2019 – Kaiser Health News publishes article on rural hospital closures — Economic Ripples: Hospital Closure Hurts A Town’s Ability To Attract Retirees | Read the Article

March 10, 2019 – CBS Sunday Morning airs compelling segment on rural hospital closures and their negative impact on access to health care in rural America | Watch the Video

February 2019 – Navigant publishes report on rural hospitals, with new data showing worsening situation for rural hospitals | Read the Report