By Zack Budryk
Rural healthcare is caught in a full-blown crisis. The rural hospital sector desperately needs more workers, even more so than the healthcare sector at large. In addition, federal funds are at risk in states that failed to expand their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act. As a result, up to 30 hospitals may close in states such as Kentucky and Kansas.
The ongoing crisis has compelled many providers to shift their focus or reduce services, with Ohio's rural facilities faced with reopening as outpatient-only hospitals. Despite these obstacles, many rural and community providers have found innovative ways to survive and, in some cases, thrive. In this special report, FierceHealthcare examines four strategies to help rural hospitals ride out the crisis.