This paper — the RHRC’s first working paper, dated 1993 — presents an alternative to a length-of-stay limit for defining service limitations for limited service rural hospitals, such as the rural primary care hospital (RCPH). The analysis indicates that:
- Small rural hospitals admit patients in a limited number of DRG categories, which typically represent low-intensity medical admissions.
- Small rural hospitals transfer relatively few cases to other hospitals.
- Lengths of stay in small rural hospitals frequently exceed three or four days.