Changes in Provision of Selected Services by Rural and Urban Hospitals Between 2009 and 2017

During the past decade, access to healthcare services provided by rural hospitals has changed in two major ways. First, there has been a substantial increase in the number of rural hospitals that have closed or converted (provide some healthcare services but not inpatient care). Secondly, and less understood, many rural hospitals have reduced or terminated services historically considered to be essential hospital services. This brief from the North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center describes and compares these changes.