Mayor Perceptions of the Closing of their Small Rural Hospitals


This project involved a survey of 130 mayors of rural towns whose sole small general hospitals closed between 1980 and 1988. Mayors attributed the closure of their hospitals primarily to government reimbursement policies, poor hospital management, and lack of physicians. They reported that they had little warning that their hospitals were in imminent danger of closing. Well over three-fourths of the mayors felt that access to medical care and health status had deteriorated in their community after hospital closure, and over 90% indicated that the hospital closure had substantially impaired the community’s economy.