A new report from the Minnesota Hospital Association shows that rural hospitals repeatedly lagged those in urban areas in terms of median operating income from 2012 to 2015.

Rural hospitals face a number of challenges, analysts said, including a larger share of patients covered by government health insurance programs that don’t pay hospitals as much for services as commercial health plans.

Whereas the median operating margin for rural hospitals during the time period ranged from 0.2 percent to 2.4 percent, the median margin for urban hospitals ranged from 3.2 percent to 4.2 percent.

39 hospitals, mostly rural, reported negative operating margins for 2015.

SOURCE: startribune.com, March 24, 2017