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OK's rural hospitals work to stay open, viable

The Oklahoman, August 18, 2014

Sixty percent of rural residents who were hospitalized in 2010 went to a rural hospital, rather than an urban facility, according to a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. The share of rural residents' hospitalizations that take place in urban versus rural hospitals has been an area of interest for a number of years, and those who go to urban hospitals have been described as "bypassing" rural hospitals. Many rural areas are medically underserved because of physician shortages, especially for specialists such as cardiologists, orthopedic doctors and neurologists. This is true for Oklahoma, a state with 67 counties and regions that lack enough doctors to treat the population.