Medicare: Number of Rural Hospitals Terminating Participation since the Program Began.
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC HUMAN RESOURCES DIV
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The objective of this report was to determine data on the number of rural hospitals that have ceased participation in Medicare for time periods before and after the implementation of that programs inpatient hospital prospective payment system PPS. We were asked to determine, to the extent possible, from Medicare hospital participation data whether other hospitals were available to Medicare beneficiaries in the areas formerly served by the closed hospitals. We analyzed data in the MedicareMedicaid Automated Certification System MMACS, which contains information on all hospitals that have participated in Medicare at any time since its inception on July 1, 1966, and their status as of December 31, 1986. As of December 1986, 2,918 rural hospitals were participating. A total of 446 rural hospitals had terminated participation since the program began. Of the hospitals no longer participating, 48 were in countries that do not currently have a hospital participating in Medicare-an indication that Medicare beneficiaries living in these counties might have more trouble getting access to hospital care. During the 3 years immediately before PPS implementation, 25 rural hospitals terminated participation, and 3 countries were left without a hospital participating in Medicare. During the 3-14 years immediately after PPS, 41 rural hospitals ceased participation, and 14 counties were left without a participating hospital.
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