Nearly 650 rural hospitals across the country are at risk of closure due to financial challenges, according to a new study from the Center for Healthcare Quality & Payment Reform. Among this number are more than 200 rural hospitals at immediate risk of closing. When a rural hospital closes, the community loses access to emergency, primary, and specialty care. Mortality rates increase due to lengthier transport times to a remote hospital. With a rural hospital closure, the community also loses an employer, purchaser, and advocate.
While there is no single fix to stabilize rural hospitals, acute, specialty telemedicine can be a significant force for good. When a rural hospital can provide more inpatient and outpatient specialties, such as cardiology, neurology, and pulmonology, it can reduce the number of patient transfers, decrease readmissions, increase case mix index, and increase revenue.
How Telemedicine Helps Rural Healthcare
Access TeleCare works with rural hospitals to identify areas of need and build sustainable telemedicine programs that meet financial and quality goals.
Watch how Access TeleCare worked with CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital – Sulphur Springs in rural East Texas to implement multiple telemedicine service lines and earn Primary Stroke Center Designation from the Joint Commission and with Palo Pinto General Hospital to deliver ICU-level critical care, reducing transfers to other hospitals by 36 percent.
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