In Southwest Virginia, Reestablishing a Rural Hospital System Requires Rebuilding Trust

When two hospital systems merged to create Ballad Health, agreements ensured all hospitals would stay open for at least five years and essential services in each of the rural and poorly served counties would be maintained. Enforceable price controls lowered patient costs and, in an effort to rebuild community trust and improve overall health, $308 million was committed to community-based care. The community health programs are based on the missions of organizations like Health Wagon, which serves its rural patients by forming personal relationships, being easily accessible, and understanding their needs.

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