Physician Perceptions of the Closing of their Small Rural Hospitals


This project surveyed the physicians of rural towns whose sole small general hospitals closed between 1980 and 1988. All locatable physicians who were practicing in the hospital closure towns at the time of the closures were surveyed with a questionnaire similar to that employed in a parallel survey of hospital closure town mayors. The study concentrated on physician perceptions of the reasons the hospitals closed, the consequences of the hospital closures, and the role the physician played in the closure process. Government reimbursement policies and poor hospital management were cited as principal reasons for hospital closures.