Small rural hospitals that have remained open with help from federal aid appear to have fallen behind on mortality rates.
Researchers analyzed data for Medicare fee-for-service patients with myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, and pneumonia who were admitted to acute care hospitals between 2002 and 2010. In 2002, 30-day mortality rates for patients with these conditions were comparable between hospitals in the federal aid program and other hospitals. By 2010, death rates increased for patients with these ailments at the hospitals in the federal program (13.3%) but declined at other hospitals (11.4%). Death rates diverged similarly when the researchers analyzed outcomes for each condition separately.
From JAMA ’s Daily News Site. JAMA. 2013;309(20):2086. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.6020