Physician perspectives on the causes of rural hospital closure, 1980-1988

  • Abstract


    Few studies seeking to determine the causes of rural hospital closure have examined the opinions of individuals intimately involved with the closed facilities. The purpose of this research was to examine the reasons for small sole community general hospital closures from the perspective of local physicians and to compare these reasons with the perceptions of local mayors.


    Hospitals in this study were selected from a list provided by the American Hospital Association. A two-page questionnaire was sent to every physician who had practiced in the towns in which a sole community general hospital had closed between 1980 and 1988.


    Physicians reported government reimbursement policies as the most important reasons for hospital closure, agreeing with the mayors’ opinions. Other reasons cited were general financial difficulties, competition from other hospitals, and bad board leadership. More than three-quarters of the physicians surveyed considered the quality of care provided by their facilities to be average or better.


    The closure of rural hospitals that physicians consider of average or better quality suggests that many of the closed hospitals could have continued to provide valuable services to the residents of their communities. Efforts must be made to ensure that rural communities are not losing viable and useful facilities.

    Comment in

  • Authors:

    Pirani MJ, Hart LG, Rosenblatt RA

  • Journal/Publisher:

    J Am Board Fam Pract

  • Edition:

    Nov 1993. 6(6):556-562

  • Link to Article

    Access the article here: J Am Board Fam Pract

  • Citation:

    Pirani MJ, Hart LG, Rosenblatt RA. Physician Perspectives On The Causes Of Rural Hospital Closure, 1980-1988. J Am Board Fam Pract. Nov 1993 6(6):556-562

  • Related Studies:

    Physician Perceptions of the Closing of their Small Rural Hospitals