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Lower Patient Mortality Rates Post-Merger for Rural Hospitals

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A new study of mergers and acquisitions of rural hospitals found that facilities have lower patient mortality rates post-merger, writes Healthcare Dive.   Rural hospitals are increasingly merging with other hospitals, but to date, little is known of the associations of hospital mergers with quality of care.

The study, published in JAMA Network Open and conducted by researchers with IBM Watson Health and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, examined 435 hospitals altogether, including more than 260 that were in a control group for comparison. The researchers concluded that merged hospitals had a lower patient mortality rate that continued for years after the merger was completed, and that such deals could play a significant role in improving the quality of rural healthcare services.

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