America's Rural Hospitals: A Selective Review of 1980s Research

Stephen S. Mick, Laura L. Morlock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


ABSTRACT: We review 1980s research on American rural hospitals within the context of a decade of increasing restrictiveness in the reimbursement and operating environments. Areas addressed include rural hospital definitions, organizational and financial performance, and strategic management activities. The latter category consists of hospital closure, diversification and vertical integration, swing‐bed conversion, sole community provider designation, horizontal integration and multihospital system affiliation, marketing, and patient retention. The review suggests several research needs, including: developing more meaningful definitions of rural hospitals, engaging in methodologically sound work on the effects of innovative programs and strategic management activities—including conversion of the facility itself—on rural hospital performance, and completing studies of the effects of rural hospital closure or conversion on the health of the communities served.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)437-466
Number of pages30
JournalThe Journal of Rural Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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