This paper uses hospital discharge data from six states along with Medicare cost report data to evaluate the financial impact of certain types of admissions on hospital profits. In particular, the data allows us to examine the profitability of basic medical admissions, complex medical admissions, obstetrics, general surgery, and subspecialty surgery. Hospital administrators will gain insights into the relationships between the scope of services at a rural hospital, regional demographics, and the hospital’s financial performance. This paper also enables policy makers to gain a better understanding of the financial incentives that rural hospitals have to increase the breadth and sophistication of their services.
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