In the U.S., hospitalized heart attack patients go home sooner than in other countries. They are more likely to return to the hospital within a month of being discharged. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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A hospital stay may be the right time to quit smoking. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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Unlike the medical examiner's office in New Mexico, which routinely autopsies sudden or violent deaths, most U.S. hospitals perform postmortem examinations only rarely. John W. Poole/NPR hide caption

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Shirley Holden, 78, has been coming to Hood Memorial Hospital since 1971. She says if the hospital were to close, she'd mostly stay home. "I would not be going ... anywhere else unless I went on a stretcher." Jenny Gold/for NPR hide caption

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When 'Critical Access Hospitals' Aren't So Critical
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