Thursday, September 23, 2021

Study finds lower overall death rates in rural hospitals that became part of larger groups, more so with heart attacks

Rural hospitals that became part of larger groups were less likely to have patients die in the hospital, says a new study published in JAMA Network Open, a journal of the American Medical Association.

Researchers with IBM Watson Health and the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality "analyzed data from 172 merged hospitals and 266 comparison hospitals that remained independent from 2009 to 2016," Becker's Hospital Review reports. "Mortality rates dropped from 4.3 percent to 3.2 percent at rural hospitals that completed a merger."

Also, merged rural hospitals saw an even bigger decrease, 4 percentage points, in deaths from heart attacks. "Researchers also found a significantly greater reduction in inpatient mortality for several other common conditions, such as heart failure, acute stroke and pneumonia, among patients admitted to rural hospitals involved in a merger or acquisition than among patients admitted to independent rural hospitals," Becker's reports.

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