6 common characteristics of hospitals vulnerable to closure

There are 673 rural hospitals across the nation that are vulnerable to closure, and these facilities have many similarities beyond their financial troubles, according to a report from iVantage Health Analytics.

Here are six things to know about the rural hospitals at risk of closure, according to iVantage, a firm that compiles a hospital strength index that is based on data about financial stability, patients and quality indicators.

1. The strength index is based on a composite measure of nine pillars of hospital strength: inpatient share ranking, outpatient share ranking, population risk, cost, charge, quality, outcomes, patient perspectives and financial stability. The hospitals at risk of closure underperform in a majority of the areas evaluated, with the median vulnerable hospital earning an overall score of 16.22 out of a possible 100.

2. Of hospitals at risk of closure, the median score in the patient perspectives area — a rating of hospital performance based on the percentile ranking of a number of HCAHPS measures — was 26/100.

3. Hospitals vulnerable to closure struggle in the area of population risk, as they serve especially sick, expensive and challenged populations, according to the analysis. With regard to population risk, the median score was 30/100.

4. As expected, vulnerable rural hospitals face challenges with inpatient market share, with a median score of 29/100 in that area. The median score was nearly the same in the area of outpatient care.

5. The hospitals face significant challenges with outcomes and quality, with median scores of 28/100 and 30/100 in those areas, respectively.

6. The median vulnerable hospital scored 27/100 in the area of financial stability.

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