RECOGNIZING RURAL HOSPITAL WEEK; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 182
(Extensions of Remarks - November 16, 2018)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1535]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []



                             HON. TOM REED

                              of new york

                    in the house of representatives

                       Friday, November 16, 2018

  Mr. REED. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in recognition of Rural Hospital 
Week and in support of the critical role rural hospitals, and the 
health care professionals that choose to serve rural communities, play 
in our health care system. Roughly 1 in 5 Americans live in rural 
areas, and often, hospitals are one of the main economic drivers of 
their communities. In fact, hospitals account for 14 percent of total 
rural employment nationwide. In this way, rural hospitals keep not just 
their patients healthy, but the economies of their local communities as 
  Despite the important role that hospitals play in rural America, a 
disturbing trend of closures threatens the availability of care for 
millions of rural Americans. According to a study published by the GAO 
in August of this year, 64 rural hospitals closed between 2013 and 
2017. This rate of closure is more than double that of the previous 5-
year period, and accounts for roughly 3 percent of all rural hospitals.
  Mr. Speaker, I hope that you and the rest of our colleagues will join 
me in celebrating Rural Hospital Week, as well as the talented health 
care professionals and hospitals that make high quality care possible. 
I hope you will also join me in seeking solutions that maintain the 
availability of this high-quality care for all Americans.