Sustainable Financing for Rural Hospitals: How has COVID-19 Changed the Equation?

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COVID-19 has magnified existing vulnerabilities for hospitals, as many hospitals have canceled elective procedures or closed non-urgent care facilities, leading to financial shortfalls and furloughs.  This is especially apparent in rural communities who were already facing high rates of hospital closures. The CARES Act provided funding and flexibilities for rural hospitals, including $100 billion in rolling funds for healthcare expenses or lost revenue directly attributed to COVID-19; however, this temporary financial relief does not address long-term sustainability challenges. 

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Sustainable Financing for Rural Hospitals: How has COVID-19 Changed the Equation?
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Open to view video. COVID-19 has magnified existing vulnerabilities for hospitals, as many hospitals have canceled elective procedures or closed non-urgent care facilities, leading to financial shortfalls and furloughs. This is especially apparent in rural communities who were already facing high rates of hospital closures. The CARES Act provided funding and flexibilities for rural hospitals, including $100 billion in rolling funds for healthcare expenses or lost revenue directly attributed to COVID-19; however, this temporary financial relief does not address long-term sustainability challenges. This virtual tele-town hall will provide an open forum to discuss how COVID-19 has shifted the landscape for rural hospitals and to offer strategies on how to move forward.