The RUPRI Health Panel Releases Evolution of Hospital Designations & Payment in the U.S.: Implications for Rural Hospitals
Rural hospital closures have increased over the past few decades, and more are at risk for closure. Medicare hospital payment policies affecting rural hospitals play a significant role in the financial viability of rural hospitals. Programs have been designed to increase Medicare payments to certain rural hospitals, exempt others from budget cuts, slow the rate of hospital closure, and ultimately facilitate health care access for rural Medicare beneficiaries. This report provides an overview of historic and current Medicare rural hospital payment policies and alternative payment models to understand their impact on rural hospitals and the communities they serve.