Those same conditions are found in many of the nation’s rural areas. And as a result of lower reimbursement rates, combined with dwindling populations, many of these hospitals are operating at tighter profit margins and sometimes even at a loss.
On February 28, Cindy and Jerry Cummings made the three hour drive north to Unionville to present a proposed solution to the hospital’s board. Their idea? Rather than cutting costs, the hospital needed to grow.
The paper stresses the importance of local context. “A rural community of 1,000 needs a different system structure and set of services than a rural community of 10,000,” the authors note.