Snapshot: Public Hospital Districts Seek to Serve Remote, Rural Areas

Governed by elected boards, districts often rely on taxes to support hospitals

For 10 of Oregon’s hospitals, the traditional approach to funding and operating a healthcare institution may not make sense. These remote, rural institutions provide a vital lifeline for their communities – but they serve small populations and some would not be able to make ends meet on their own. Others can sustain themselves now, but needed a boost to fund construction and get off the ground.

Hospital districts have provided the answer. Taxpayer funded and created by votes of the people, hospital districts serve areas of the state that might otherwise be overlooked. Oregon’s 10 district-operated hospitals are: Bay Area Hospital, Blue Mountain Hospital, Coquille Valley Hospital, Curry General Hospital, Harney District Hospital, Lake District Hospital, Lower Umpqua Hospital, Pioneer Memorial Hospital-Heppner, Southern Coos Hospital and Health Center and Wallowa Memorial Hospital.

In this week’s in-depth review, we look at the financial background and future spending plans of these institutions. Figures draw from audited reports prepared by each hospital and submitted to the Office for Oregon Health Policy & Research, the state-mandated Databank program, the Oregon Health Authority and other sources. To take a look at this story, click here.

Courtney Sherwood can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @csherwood.

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