Rural Hospitals Hang on as Pandemic Reaches Smaller Communities

After metropolitan areas were battered by the COIVD-19 pandemic, rural areas have emerged as the new frontline for the virus. Small rural hospitals are struggling to keep their doors open after losing profits due to forgoing elective procedures. It is estimated that hospitals and health systems have lost $202.6 billion between March and June and will lose an additional $120.5 billion by the end of the year. Projections claim that federal relief from the CARES Act is not nearly enough to counteract the losses hospitals face. Experts in health policy and management are forecasting a major change in rural hospital policy over the course of the pandemic and into the long-term future due to these struggles.