This paper reviews available data describing issues and research findings with implications for hospital closings. Factors contributing to fiscal problems of hospitals (e.g., inadequate reimbursement, inflation, management problems, organizational structure, societal factors) are discussed. Selected studies offering examples of hospital and community characteristics associated with closure are presented. This review suggests that future directions for research should focus not only on hospital cost control but also on insuring equity in the distribution of hospital services. Specifically, research is needed that further describes the hospital closure phenomenon, the effects of closure, and the policy choices that might be pursued to insure equity in the continuation of hospital services to disadvantaged populations.