Saint Louis University Journal of Health Law & Policy

Document Type

Student Comment


Health care is plagued by inefficient reimbursement policies which encourage expensive financial waste with little incentive to maintain care quality. Though no perfect solution exists, effective remedies may require a hard look at programs so far untouched by policy changes. This article discusses the application of a prospective payment system of reimbursement for critical access hospitals, as well as how this policy change would affect rural health care access, costs, and quality of care. Though some fear prospective payment systems of reimbursement would cripple rural health care, evidence shows it would likely promote more cost-efficient care without diminishing quality or outcomes. Further, there are a number of steps critical access hospitals may take to ensure survival and profitability, and in considering the need for more responsible health care spending, such a change may eventually prove necessary.