RUPRI Health Center Releases Policy Brief on Rural Hospital Affiliations. January 2023

The RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis has released a new brief on Changes in Service Offerings Post-System Affiliation in Rural Hospitals.

Affiliations between rural hospitals and regional and national health systems have increased from 10 to 30 per year in the 2000s to approximately 30 to 70 per year in the 2010s. This policy brief aims to understand the range of effects on service offerings after rural hospitals become part of, or leave, a regional or national health care system.

Key Findings

• Of the 62 service offerings examined in the study period (2008 through 2020), there was a 5-percentage point or more increase in hospitals offering 23 of these services and a 5-percentage point or more decline in hospitals offering 10 services.

• Changes in service offerings (either gains or losses) occurred across all hospital types regardless of whether the hospitals joined or left systems or were never or always in a system.

• Compared with other hospitals in the study, service additions occurred more frequently in hospitals that left systems (35.4 percent), while the majority of service losses occurred in hospitals that joined systems (46.2 percent).

Read the Brief Here