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Alabama’s Rural Hospitals

About half of all hospitals in Alabama are rural, providing needed access to emergency care, care for chronic conditions and preventative care.

Quick Facts

  • Rural hospitals treat almost 2 million patients each year, including both inpatient stays and outpatient visits.
  • Included in the above are more than 8,000 babies delivered and about 450,000 emergency department visits.
  • 14% of employment in rural areas can be attributed to healthcare, and in 60% of rural counties, hospitals are a top five employer.
  • Rural hospitals provide $582 million each year in payroll.
  • They provide access to quality healthcare locally, but they need our support to survive. See financial fact sheet

Rural Grant Programs

One focus of the Rural Section of AlaHA is managing two grant programs – the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program (FLEX) and the Small Hospital Improvement Program Grant (SHIP).  The Flex Program provides support to the Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) program to assist rural hospitals to convert to CAH status, a federal program for rural hospitals that offers enhanced reimbursement and opportunities to better match a hospital’s capabilities with a community’s needs.  The grant also offers educational opportunities  for rural  hospitals under 49 beds and CAH’s.   AlaHA also supports 41 hospitals through the SHIP grant program which provides federal funds to assist hospitals 49 beds or less to implement hospital improvement projects.

For more information contact Jane Knight or Bethany Gamma.