Rural Health Services

Some 57 million rural Americans depend on their hospital as an important source of care as well as a critical component of their area's economic and social fabric.

Rural Health Image

AHA ensures the unique needs of our members are a national priority. Location, size, workforce, payment and access to capital challenge small or rural hospitals and the communities they serve. Collaborating with state and regional hospital associations and with advice from its member council, the Section tracks the issues, develops policies and identifies solutions to our most pressing problems. We do this through:

  • Representation and advocacy in Washington, DC
  • Communication and education
  • Executive leadership and technical assistance
  • Innovation in payment and delivery

2023 Rural Advocacy Agenda

The Chairman's File  

Chair File: Ensuring Rural Hospitals and Communities Are Healthy

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Chair File: Leadership Dialogue Video— Strengthening Rural Health Care with Jennifer Havens

Infographic: Rural Hospitals: Community Cornerstones Facing Perilous Threats to Care

Rural Health Resources

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Advocacy and Policy

The American Hospital Association has made improving access to rural health a top priority. Our advocacy agenda for lawmakers and policy recommendations to government agencies lay the groundwork for needed change to improve the system for patients. Click here for regulatory advisories, comment letters, fact sheets and our agendas.

Tools and Education

Education and Communications

The American Hospital Association has a wealth of media and educational resources available to rural hospitals and health systems. Click here for reports, newsletters, podcasts, webinars, and more.

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Tools and Resources

NEW: Rural Health Services Resources and References
The American Hospital Association is proud to feature the success stories of its members. Read a variety of case studies highlighting best practices, innovative techniques and new ideas from the field.

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A curated library of grants, tools and other resources from AHA and others available to rural providers. Click here to see the collection.

Rural Hospitals and Their Critical Role in the Community

Rural Hospital Closures Threaten Access: Solutions to Preserve Care in Local Communities




New Rural Health Services Resources and References
New Resources and Services Cover 

View the latest resource.

We Are AHA.


Learn More About the Rural Advisory Groups


Rural Advocacy Agenda

Rural hospital and health systems are the lifeblood of their communities and are committed to ensuring local access to high-quality, affordable health care. At the same time, these hospitals are experiencing unprecedented challenges that jeopardize access and services. These include ...

Rural Health Update Newsletters

The Section for Small or Rural Hospitals provides its members two electronic newsletters, the Small or Rural Update and the CAH Update, which include the latest information on federal legislative and regulatory activity affecting payment, quality, and access to care. The Small or Ru...

Rural Hospital Leadership Team Award

The 2023 Rural Hospital Leadership Team Award from AHA Rural Health Services honors the leadership team who has guided their hospital and community through transformational change on the road to health care reform innovation. The team will have displayed outstanding leadership and ...