Changes in the healthcare landscape and a host of other factors are putting some small town and rural hospitals in Michigan at risk of closing in the coming years. That was the message Dr. Zigmond Kozicki and Dr. Stephanie Baiyasi delivered at the 2019 Small Town and Rural Development Conference, held this week in northern Michigan. Kozicki says the problem started with a decrease in federal money for hospitals that started in the mid-seventies, and continues now with cuts to Medicare and an increase of people without insurance.
Kozicki and Baiyasi said solutions include getting Congress to adjust tax law changes that cut Medicare, developing telemedicine programs and bringing in primary care physicians. They say some communities would benefit from transitioning to Population Health Centers, which focus on public health, acute and outpatient care.