Magazine Article | August 19, 2015

Are IT Costs Squeezing Community Hospitals Dry?

Source: Health IT Outcomes

By John Oncea, Digital Editorial Director

The results of our fifth annual Community Hospital IT survey are in, and one thing is clear — the cost of IT is having an adverse effect on the survival of small, rural hospitals.

Money problems, unsurprisingly, are universal in healthcare. Declining reimbursement, decreasing inpatient volume, increasing competition, and government funding cuts are just a handful of the financial challenges leadership teams deal with daily.

These challenges are difficult for any health system to overcome, but they are having a particularly devastating effect on community hospitals — so much so that nearly 50 rural hospitals have closed since 2010 according to the North Carolina Rural Health Research Program. And while we may not be headed towards a second coming of the late 1980s/early 90s when 440 small hospitals closed, it’s clear community hospitals are feeling the financial squeeze more than their larger counterparts.