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Metaphors commonly used to describe community hospitals underscore their importance to the regions they serve. They’ve been called economic engines, cornerstones of the community, and, by Forbes, the “financial glue” that holds communities together. Community hospitals tend to be one of the top employers in town, so when one closes, there are more consequences than traveling farther for hospital care.

Still, community hospitals are closing at a dispiriting rate—87 shut down in 26 states from January 2010 to July 2018, according to the North Carolina Rural Health Research Program. Countless additional community hospitals are on the brink. As always, CHC brings resources to get struggling hospitals back on track, including operational assessments and supply chain savings through our group purchasing organization, CHC Supply Trust. CHC recently has stepped up efforts to help hospitals secure federal grant support to bolster sustainable business models. Additionally, CHC helps hospitals evaluate strategic partnership opportunities.

We at CHC believe the economic engine metaphor still applies to community hospitals. However, it may be time to reconsider what it takes to keep these engines running. Across the county there are many examples of rural hospitals facing challenges along with some innovative ideas:

As industry and mainstream coverage makes clear, community hospitals are indeed the economic engines of their regions. Like any engine, they can sometimes use a tune-up. Learn more about how CHC’s services and solutions can help maximize your hospital’s performance.

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