Declining access to health care in northern New England

Abstract: Access to health care is a major concern across the northern New England states?Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont?where rising operating costs and population loss threaten the stability of hospitals and other medical facilities that serve their surrounding rural communities. New analysis of financial data shows that many rural hospitals are operating at losses that are predictive of financial distress or even closure. Consequently, the communities served by these hospitals may be at risk of losing the benefits they provide to public health and the local economy. Addressing the financial health of medical facilities in rural areas poses a complicated challenge for policymakers working to sustain or revitalize the economies of these communities. This report reviews recent data on hospital profitability and explores health care from a geographic perspective, looking at how a community?s distance from a hospital or other medical facility affects the health and well-being of residents and the local economy.

Keywords: rural; NEPPC; health care; New England; regional economy;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Part of Series: New England Public Policy Center Regional Brief

Publication Date: 2019-04-09

Number: 19-1