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More than 450 rural hospitals could be on the brink of closure

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | February 13, 2020

These states are also located in the Southeast and lower Great Plains, areas that have the greatest levels of rural hospital vulnerability. In addition, states which have managed to avoid any rural hospital closures, or experienced two or fewer, such as Nebraska, Wisconsin and Wyoming all have facilities that are considered vulnerable to closure.

“This new research illustrates just how extensive the instability is across the rural health safety net, and I believe, amplifies the need for ideas and innovative thinking to help rural hospitals turn the corner," said Topchik.

He adds, however, that progress is being made to save these facilities — and consequently, their patients. “We see tremendous examples across the country of rural hospitals — both critical access and rural and community hospitals — that are creating blueprints for success by improving the quality of the care they provide. We all recognize that expanding Medicaid, for example, requires more than just the voice of a hospital. But an individual hospital can focus on driving improvement in areas such as outcomes or patient satisfaction that, over time, strengthen their ability to navigate the instability we see across the rural health safety net today."

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