Hospitals in rural areas of the county face different obstacles than those encountered in urban settings.
Challenges in those remote areas include workforce shortages, delivery and payment model inefficiencies, clinical care and community health issues, lack of supporting infrastructure, financial and operational barriers, and lack of insurance coverage.
In Missouri, 15 hospitals have closed since 2014, 10 of those being rural. The Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform estimates that an additional 54% of the state’s rural hospitals are at risk of closing, and of those, 30% are in immediate danger.
MHA is focused on providing advocacy, support and resources to the state’s 61 rural hospitals to improve and sustain the health of our rural communities. Our staff continue to evaluate the changing rural health landscape, using objective and subjective data and narrative, to provide a unified voice for those impacted hospitals.
Reimagine Rural Health
The effort to #ReimagineRuralHealth in Missouri is underway. In 2019, the state made significant progress in efforts to strengthen rural health, hospitals and communities. Additional progress is necessary to support a sustainable system.