Rural Hospitals Closing Will Affect Rural Nursing Facilities

A recent report by iVantage Health Analytics (iVantage) shows a startling dim view of rural hospitals future.  In many communities, the rural hospital, along with the rural nursing home provide valuable social, economic and health care support to residents and their families.

A rural nursing home has their livelihood closely tied to the availability of physicians, nurses and other health care personnel.  For strategic planning, the rural demographics are showing an increasing percentage of elderly as the young are moving to urban areas upon graduation.  A question to be asked is “how can a rural nursing home and a rural hospital leverage their resources and collaborate to form a new model of care”? One obstacle that should be address is the medicare and medicaid reimbursement systems that would incentivize the collaboration between rural health providers.

A new innovative model needs to emerge……

Here is the report:


The Rural Hospital Closure Crisis

In 2014 we used INDEX to review the performance of all rural hospitals compared to the 49 rural facilities closed between January 2010 to October 2014, and identified 283 rural hospitals that shared similar characteristics and were therefore considered vulnerable. Since it’s initial publication, this key finding has been at the center of the national debate on the future of rural healthcare.

closures 0127 v2With the number of rural closures hitting 62 by year-end 2015 (66 as of 1/25/16), we leveraged a fully updated – and expanded – data set to re-assess the performance of rural hospitals across all indicators, and compare these findings to the performance characteristics of the 62 hospitals which have closed since 2010.

Our research now identifies 673 rural hospitals in the Vulnerability Index. These facilities fall into two distinct groups: 210 hospitals are most vulnerable to closure and an additional 463 which are ‘at-risk.