July 18, 1990

Analysts Differ Over Implications of More Hospital Closings Than Openings Since 1987

JAMA. 1990;264(3):310-314. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450030024005

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


SIX HUNDRED ninety-eight hospitals closed from 1980 through 1989, according to the American Hospital Association (AHA).

This is not a simple case of a steadily diminishing number of US hospitals. A small number of facilities open each year, and in the early part of the decade, more hospitals opened than closed. However, since 1987, closings have been more common than openings.

Between 1980 and 1989, of the 698 hospitals that closed, 508 were "community" hospitals (that is, general acutecare facilities) and 190 were "noncommunity" (specialty or other non—acutecare facilities).

Of the community hospitals, 256 were urban and 252 were rural; 43.1% were not-for-profit, 37.4% were for-profit, and 19.5% were nonfederal government facilities. They tended to be small; 81.1% had fewer than 100 beds, and 54.1% had fewer than 50 beds.

Every State  The largest numbers of community hospitals closed in Texas (95), California (52), New York (37), Illinois (24), Michigan