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April 2013 Archives

Hospitals In Rural Areas Suffer Elevated Death Rates

Critical access hospitals are facilities designed to serve the needs of rural communities by providing 24-hour emergency services and both inpatient and outpatient services in areas where it might not be cost effective to do so. These small facilities receive special treatment in the Medicare program and are exempt certain reporting requirements. While death rates in larger hospitals dropped from 2002 to 2010, the death rates at these small rural hospitals increased. The increase calls into question whether the special treatment for these small hospitals is having a detrimental effect on the patients they serve by promoting medical mistakes.

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