An old adage says that if you have the money, expertise, and a customer base, you can generally get by without someone else’s help. Most rural health systems would prefer to do just that, but for many, it’s becoming increasingly difficult. Competition from regional health systems and physicians, new regulatory requirements, and aging infrastructure are creating additional demands. In rural communities, shortages of nurses, pharmacists, and laboratory, radiology, and other professional staff are compounding the problems. Faced with these dilemmas, many rural systems are looking at non-merger strategic partnerships with each other, local physicians, or their urban counterparts.
Length: 2 pages (PDF 91 kB)