APRIL 2023


Safety Nets and Rural Hospitals

Our last market report focused on the disruptors to the healthcare field. This month, we’re highlighting the wave of health systems that are shuttering their doors. Not only does this have an impact on vulnerable populations, it also can impact the bottom line of the health systems that absorb the responsibility of care.  

Read more about this topic from our curated list of stories below…

When safety-net hospitals close, what happens to nearby providers?


Modern Healthcare, April 17, 2023  

“Closures disrupt operations and imperil finances at nearby providers, along with restricting access for vulnerable patients. Atlanta Medical Center’s closure is one recent example: The November shuttering of the 460-bed hospital in the city center spurred a series of financial and social consequences for area hospitals and residents, mirroring the ripple effect of similar closures seen in Philadelphia and elsewhere.” 

Chief Healthcare Executive, February 7, 2023

“Unless Congress acts, on Oct. 1, health systems are looking at an $8 billion cut in the Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) program. Beth Feldpush, senior vice president of policy and advocacy for America’s Essential Hospitals, said the organization is pushing to postpone those cuts, which she said would be virtually catastrophic.” 

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Becker’s Healthcare, April 17, 2023 

“Several hospitals are scaling back or cutting inpatient services for multiple reasons, including cost and staffing concerns. Over the last year, Becker’s has reported on 22 hospitals that have ended or plan to end inpatient services” 

Modern Healthcare, April 3, 2023

“System affiliation can improve funding at rural hospitals and potentially help them stay open,” said Caitlin Carroll, assistant professor of health policy at the University of Minnesota and lead author of the study. “But on the other hand, even out-of-market mergers can raise prices and drain resources from the local community if services are eliminated and patients are redirected to out-of-market providers.” 

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Healthcare Finance News, April 7, 2023 

“The bill was first introduced in the House in 2021 and again in the Senate in 2022, but eventually sputtered out. It seeks to amend the Social Security Act to recalculate payments for standalone community hospitals and Medicare-dependent hospitals.” 

The Texas Tribune, March 2, 2023 

“The goal of the federal Rural Emergency Hospital program, approved by Congress in 2020 and launched in January, is to preserve at least some health care services in rural communities that can’t support a full-fledged hospital. The program provides higher Medicare payments and other dollars to small rural hospitals that shed inpatient services and instead staff a round-the-clock emergency department and provide observation care.” 

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