Rural Health Care

Rural hospitals provide essential health care services to nearly 54 million people, including 9 million Medicare beneficiaries. Contributing to Medicare payment challenges is a host of significant pressures – largely beyond hospitals’ control. A sustained workforce shortage and rising health care liability premiums continue to drive costs higher. In addition, access to capital is poor as the average age of hospital facilities and the demand for expensive new information systems climb.

Rural hospitals face great pressures as government payments decline due to their small size, modest assets and financial reserves, and higher percentage of Medicare patients since rural populations are typically older than average urban populations.

Yet Medicare margins are the lowest for rural hospitals, with the smallest hospitals having the lowest margins. The AHA is committed to advocating for legislation that will address the needs of our vital rural health care system.

Click below to access the Section for Small or Rural Hospitals page, which offers members additional resources, publications, educational opportunities, and professional development.


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