"Hospitals tend to be cornerstone institutions in rural communities," St. Clair notes. "For many citizens in small-town America, losing the local hospital would threaten the livelihood of the town and its people, says Patrick Roche, chief operating officer at Faith Regional Health Services based in Norfolk, Neb." He told her, "There are two things they don't want to lose. The first one is their school, the second one is their hospital."
Challenges to keeping rural hospitals open include reduced federal reimbursements, difficulty finding a qualified workforce, problems with transportation, "broadband internet accessibility and the unique characteristics of the population, according to Dr. Anand Parekh, chief medical advisor with the Bipartisan Policy Center and one of the report's authors," St. Clair reports.