Insights

Insights

Noridian Helps Solve Rural Health Disparity—Part 1

Rural American health care facilities are fragile businesses. So, it’s no surprise the COVID-19 pandemic was particularly hard on them. In fact, a record 20 rural hospitals across the nation closed in 2020 alone.

Even before the pandemic, rural health care facilities were affected by low volume and heavy reliance on government payers. But public fear around COVID-19 added another financial blow as Americans deferred and delayed routine care.

Rural health care closures—A growing problem

  • Rural health care closures are nothing new

While the ongoing pandemic exacerbated the strain on rural providers, closures started long before. Since 2010, more than 135 rural hospitals have closed, and the number continues to rise.

The National Association of Rural Health identifies an additional 450 facilities as vulnerable. That number represents nearly one quarter of rural hospitals in the U.S.

  • 1 in 5 Americans are rural

Problems in rural health care affect more Americans than you might think. The U.S. Census Bureau classifies 60 million Americans as rural. That equates to one in five Americans—all of who rely primarily on rural health care facilities.

Fewer rural facilities to serve 20% of the population create an enormous health care gap. Many consider rural Americans one of the largest medically underserved populations in the country.

  • Noridian is part of the solution

Addressing rural health care inequities takes a nationwide effort. Both government and commercial payers can help close the gap.

Noridian contributes by setting rural health care providers up for success in working with existing reimbursement systems—both public and private. Supporting rural providers translates into a better experience for health care users and payers alike.

Link to part 2 of this article

Sources:

United State Census Bureau https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2017/08/rural-america.html
Becker’s Healthcare https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/finance/why-rural-hospital-closures-hit-a-record-high-in-2020.html
National Association of Rural Health https://www.ruralhealth.us/advocate