Rural Hospitals Under Pressure to Adopt Reforms

Read the Full Article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

In Georgia, only five of 14 hospitals at a high financial risk of closure were deemed by a national study as most essential to save. The study, conducted by Washington, D.C. healthcare consultant Guidehouse, evaluated a series of factors to determine the essentiality of a hospital, including the amount of charity care it provided as compared to overall facility charges, how far residents would have to travel to get to the nearest hospital, and the ratio of jobs the facility provided compared to the population of the county. “Our attempt was to identify which hospitals are in danger of closing, but also which hospitals are the most important to save,” said Ryan Stattenfield, associate director for healthcare at Guidehouse. “That hospital that’s sort of out in the middle of nowhere, that hospital may be struggling financially but if that hospital were to close, that’s a real hardship for people in that area.”

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