Characteristics of Communities Served by CAHs that Experience a Merger

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Approximately 60 Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) merged with other hospitals or health systems between 2009 and 2016. As hospitals continue to consolidate nationally, rural hospitals remain a common acquisition target, with various benefits and costs to rural communities. This project will compare the demographic, socioeconomic, health status, and geographic characteristics of communities served by CAHs involved in a merger versus those not involved in a merger. Findings from this study will allow CAH stakeholders to better identify strategies to help inform merger decisions and to prepare for potential consequences following a merger.