New Brief: Rural Hospitals’  Perspectives On Health System Affiliation

This brief explores the current trend in hospital affiliation from a rural perspective and offers guidance to rural hospital leaders in navigating a potential affiliation. With an understanding of the rural context and challenges facing rural hospitals, risks and opportunities across key areas for consideration are presented, including costs, quality, service delivery and system finances. The brief offers an overview of the affiliation process and how to assess success.

Rural hospitals are anchor institutions in their communities and are the hubs for a host of healthcare services such as emergency care, outpatient care, long term care, and primary care in provider-based rural health clinics. However, rural hospitals are affected by an amalgam of factors which may lead them to consider alternative organizational structures such as participating in local rural health networks and affiliating with large regional health systems.

Read the full report.

Principal Authors: Joel M. James, MPH, Guest Author and Keith J. Mueller, PhD, Chair
Contributing Author: Dan M. Shane, PhD
Prepared by the RUPRI Health Panel: Alva O. Ferdinand, DrPh, JD; Alana D. Knudson, PhD; Jennifer P, Lundblad, PhD, MBA; A. Clinton MacKinney, MD, MS; and Timothy D. McBride, PhD

This work was supported by the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.