Loss of Crucial Health Access in Rural Areas

Almost every state has hospitals at risk of closing, with the greatest risk occurring in the rural South

  • Most hospitals at risk for closing are located in isolated rural communities.
  • Rural hospitals are the only places where residents can get tests, imaging studies, and services; closures will result in residents needing to travel long distances for emergency and inpatient care.
  • Primary reason for rural hospital closures: Insurance plans are paying less than what it costs to deliver care.
  • Rural hospitals need health insurance payments that cover service costs and standby capacity payments to support fixed costs.


Center for Healthcare Quality & Payment Reform. Rural Hospitals at Risk of Closing. Accessed September 13, 2023.

Center for Healthcare Quality & Payment Reform. A Better Way to Pay Rural Hospitals. Accessed September 13, 2023.