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CONSUMER CHOICE: Nearly half of patients who need elective surgery bypass their local rural hospital for care

The bypass rate for elective surgical procedures at rural CAHs is 48.3%, similar to other estimates on surgery-related bypass.  This rate indicates that rural CAHs are losing a significant portion of people with surgical needs in their community to outside hospitals, thereby affecting their ability to continue offering other services in their community.”

The number of patients who chose to travel for elective surgical procedures, bypassing a closer critical access hospital, was studied based on 2011 data for four states: Colorado, North Carolina, Vermont and Wisconsin.  Patients who were found to be more likely to bypass the small local hospital included those undergoing elective orthopedic, ophthalmology, and digestive system procedures.

Source: Weigel, P.A.M., and others. (2017, Spring). Rural bypass for elective surgeries. Journal of Rural Health, 33(2), 135-145.  Click here for access to publisher’s website: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/wol1/doi/10.1111/jrh.12163/full  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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