Small or Rural Hospital Management Issues
Over 55 million people live in rural areas served by about 2,000 rural community hospitals. Compared to the population in metro areas, the rural population is proportionately more elderly. There is also a greater proportion of uninsured individuals in rural areas, and more than a third of the rural elderly lack Medicare supplemental insurance. Excluding the elderly, rural areas also have comparatively more poor individuals than metro areas.
Small or rural hospitals face mounting challenges similar to metropolitan hospitals, but small or rural hospitals are increasingly vulnerable due to their humble assets, meager reserves, small size and large dependence on public financing. The specific challenges that small or rural hospitals face range from workforce to technological growth, and our goal is to gain a better understanding of these issues throughout the year. Please check back here periodically for a closer look at some of these management issues.