People walk into a hospital in Tuscon, Arizona.

People walk into a hospital in Tuscon, Arizona.

Community hospitals have been merging with larger, corporate systems for a while now. And that has various implications for communities around the country. For some, it means expanded ranges for care and more resources for patients in rural areas. For others, it means a pairing down of resources and patients making long drives to big city hospitals.

As Carolyn Crist reports for Reuters:

“Hospitals in rural areas are struggling to stay open for a lot of different reasons, but many are looking to health-system affiliation as a way to keep the doors open,” [Claire O’Hanlon of the RAND Corporation] told Reuters Health by email. “But when you give up local control of your hospital to a health system, a lot of things can change that may or may not be good for the hospital or its patients.”

For the fourth show in our listener-selected series show, we talk to a nurse in Washington state on how her hospital dealt with a corporate acquisition and two experts on what this issue looks like nationwide.

Produced by Arfie Ghedi and Paige Osburn


  • Elisabeth Rosenthal Editor-in-Chief, Kaiser Health News; author of "An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back."
  • Mark Holmes Professor, University of North Carolina, Director of the North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center
  • Robert Graboyes Senior Research Fellow and Health Care Scholar at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. @Robert_Graboyes
  • Tassneem Dillsi Nurse, activist, pitched "the rise of corporate healthcare" for our listener-suggested series; @nursetess94

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