Rural Hospitals

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“Ghost town” is a phrase that’s been used to describe medical facilities in both urban and rural Pennsylvania.

NEPA Community Health Center

While U.S. cities may be seeing the initial wave of COVID-19 cases, the novel coronavirus is expected to spread to nearly every community in the nation.

Closed hospital and empty parking lot.
Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

The door to the emergency room at the Ellwood City Medical Center is locked. 

Facebook Page of Endless Mountains Health Systems

A new fiscal model aimed at keeping rural hospitals solvent is expanding in Pennsylvania, though this global budgeting strategy doesn’t always prevent facilities from operating at a loss.

PA Expands New Program To Keep Rural Hospitals Open

Dec 31, 2019
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Eight additional hospitals across Pennsylvania will join the new Rural Health Model launched by the Governor’s Office and the state’s Department of Health. The model started off in early 2019 with five rural hospitals, mostly in the northeastern part of the state, and four private insurers, plus Medicaid.

Senate Proposal Aims To Add Funds To Struggling Rural Hospitals

Aug 27, 2018
Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

A state Senate proposal aims to help struggling rural hospitals by changing the way they get paid.

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A new University of Pittsburgh study asks whether a revenue model set to be introduced in six rural Pennsylvania hospitals next year can both reduce patient admissions and increase profits.

The program is expected to be implemented in 30 rural hospitals by 2023. Data from Pennsylvania's Department of Health Innovation shows that in 2015, 47 percent of all rural hospitals in Pennsylvania had negative operating profit margins

Jason Redman / AP

The Congressional Budget Office predicts 14 million Americans who currently have insurance would be without it next year if the Senate Republican version of the health care overhaul bill is adopted.

That's leaving officials behind some rural health systems worried.