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Study links rural hospital closures to higher mortality rates

The closure of 92 rural hospitals in California between 1995 and 2011 was associated with a 5.9% increase in mortality rates among populations served by the hospitals, according to a report from the National Bureau of Economic Research. "Rural closings increase travel times for patients, and lead to outmigration of health care professionals post-closure, severely dismembering patient access to care and exacerbating social disparities in health outcomes," researchers said.

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