Rural hospitals

Rural Hospitals Losing Money, Slashing Services, Mulling Future

Roughly half of rural hospitals lost money last year, according to a new report. Those struggles, moreover, are not a one-time thing:  more than 40 percent were in the same position a year ago and more such hospitals are expected to be in this position a year from now. The problem is worse, moreover, for hospitals in states that did not take advantage of the Affordable Care Act option of expanding their Medicaid programs. In response to these challenges, some rural hospitals are discontinuing services like obstetrics – a serious challenge for hospitals located in isolated communities; exploring Medicare’s new [...]

2024-03-13T14:54:41+00:00March 13, 2024|hospitals, Medicaid, Medicare|

“Rural Emergency Hospital” Status: To Be or Not to Be?

That is the question for many of the country’s small rural hospitals, including the more than 600 that are thought to be in danger of closing in the near future. In 2020 Congress directed the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to introduce the Rural Emergency Hospital, a new Medicare provider type that would give additional federal funding to qualified rural hospitals in exchange for changes in how they do business. For small hospitals that are willing to discontinue providing inpatient services and cease participating in the 340B prescription drug discount program, CMS offers enhanced payments for outpatient services and [...]

2023-10-25T01:00:35+00:00October 25, 2023|hospitals, Medicare, Medicare reimbursement policy|

Seven Apply for Rural Emergency Hospital Designation

With more than 140 rural hospitals closing since 2010 and more currently in financial trouble, a modest number of such facilities are hoping to avoid a similar fate by applying to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to become “rural emergency hospitals,” a new Medicare provider type created to preserve access to care in rural areas. Hospitals that become rural emergency  hospitals will receive an annual fee of more than $3 million from Medicare and a five percent increase in their Medicare payments but must retain 24-hour emergency services while limiting their inpatient services to leave just enough time [...]

Readmissions Program Changes Produce New Outcomes

Many hospitals are faring better under Medicare’s hospital readmissions reduction program since changes in that program were implemented earlier this fiscal year. According to a new study, safety-net, academic, and rural hospitals have enjoyed improved performance under the program since Medicare began organizing hospitals into peer groups based on the proportion of low-income patients they serve rather than simply comparing individual hospital performance to that of all other hospitals. While the current fiscal year is still under way, it appears that safety-net hospitals will enjoy a collective decline of $22 million in Medicare readmissions penalties while 44.1 percent of teaching [...]

One in Five Rural Hospitals at Risk of Closing

More than one out of every five rural hospitals in the U.S. is at risk of closing, according to a new report. Among the factors putting these hospitals at risk are growing uncompensated care, declining inpatient volume, inadequate reimbursement from public payers, workforce shortages, high drug costs, and the opioid epidemic. More than half of the rural hospitals in Mississippi and Alabama are at risk of closing, as are significant numbers of rural hospitals in Montana, Kansas, and Georgia.  Many of these at-risk hospitals are considered essential to their communities, a measure based on their service to vulnerable populations, the [...]

2019-02-20T13:00:08+00:00February 20, 2019|hospitals|
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