When rural hospitals close, the damage isn’t limited to the local communities’ healthcare safety net. Instead, closures have far-reaching and broad consequences that set in motion the economic and demographic decline of local counties, according to a new study.

According to a Medical Economics article, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that the true impact of closures can take years to unfold. These effects come in the form of lower incomes, tax revenues and especially labor availability, and long-term population decline.

The study found that such negative impacts are most potent in regions reliant on Prospective Payment System (PPS) facilities. However, researchers concluded that the conversion of PPS hospitals into other types of healthcare facilities could soften the shock to rural communities by ensuring the protection and continuity of essential health services beyond inpatient care alone.

To read the full story, go here: https://www.medicaleconomics.com/view/rural-hospital-closures-affect-more-than-health-outcomes