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News Article: Crisis in Rural Healthcare

Derek Wells

Jan 28, 2024

Surge in hospital closures threatens patient care and exposes financial struggles

This article discusses the increasing closure of U.S. hospitals, examining its impact on patient care and the financial factors behind it. Currently, 453 hospitals are vulnerable, with 216 at high risk due to financial constraints. Smaller markets and hospitals are disproportionately affected. Closures lead to longer emergency response times, resulting in worse outcomes, and systemic effects like a shift from emergency rooms to doctor's offices. The complex healthcare billing and management system leaves hospitals with a high risk for payment. Medicare reimbursements, consistently lower than service costs, contribute significantly to closures. Private equity takeovers promise efficiency but often lead to increased prices without improved care. The article highlights the complexity of the U.S. healthcare system compared to single-payor systems in other countries, concluding with the dilemma of finding effective solutions in both government and private sectors.

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