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Health Agencies Update
November 27, 2018

Declining Numbers of Rural US Hospitals

JAMA. 2018;320(20):2067. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.18506

From 2013 through 2017, 64 of the approximately 2400 US rural hospitals closed, according to a recent report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The GAO identified hospitals as rural if they met the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy’s definition of rural, which is based on US Census Bureau and Office of Management and Budget definitions. The rural health policy office was established in 1987 to advise the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on how federal policies and regulations affect small rural hospitals and access to health care.