Small or Rural Hospitals

Some 51 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.

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

2018 Rural Advocacy Agenda

America’s rural hospitals are committed to serving their communities and ensuring local access to high-quality, affordable health care. The AHA is working to ensure federal policies and regulations are updated for 21st century innovation and care delivery, and new resources are invested...

Rural Advocacy Action Center

Rural Health Care Rural hospitals provide essential health care services to some 57 million people.  Because of their size, modest assets and financial reserves, and higher percentages of Medicare patients, small and rural hospitals disproportionately rely on government payments. ...

Overview: The Rural Emergency Medical Center Act of 2018

The American Hospital Association’s Task Force on Ensuring Access in Vulnerable Communities issued a report in 2016, recommending Congress establish new models of care to provide communities options to protect and stabilize access to health care services. The Rural Emergency Medical Cen...

Scanning the Headlines: Small or Rural Hospitals

Updated on November 27, 2017 Links to full-text articles are provided where available. For information on obtaining print copies of articles, please call the AHA Resource Center at (312) 422-2050. (2017, Nov. 16). Emerging Strategies to Ensure Access to Health Care Services: Emerge...

Small or Rural and CAH 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. Small or Rural Up...

Rural Hospital Leadership Award

The Rural Hospital Leadership Award recognizes small or rural hospital chief executives and administrators who have achieved improvements in local health delivery and health status through their leadership and direction. The Award is designed to provide professional development and e...

Related Resources

Testimony
Public
The AHA appreciates the opportunity to provide input regarding action Congress can take to maintain access to quality, affordable health care in rural…
Bibliography/Link Page
There are numerous rural health grant opportunities aimed at improving the quality of health care in rural areas—made available to hospitals in the form of…
Advocacy
Public
Rural Advocacy Senate Hearing Examines Rural Health Care: The Senate Finance Committee May 24 held a hearing on "Rural Health Care in Ame
Factsheet
Public
The AHA Task Force on Ensuring Access in Vulnerable Communities examined ways in which the access to and delivery of care could be improved. This strategy –…
Testimony
Public
AHA statement before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology: Realizing the Benefits of Rural Broadband: Challenges and…
Bibliography/Link Page
The Small/Rural Section Council meets three times a year and actively advises the AHA on advocacy positions, public policy issues, and member servi