By Alya Elison of Becker Hospital Review —————— Wed., Feb.03, 2021
More than 500 rural hospitals in the U.S. were at immediate risk of closure before the COVID-19 pandemic because of financial losses and lack of reserves to maintain operations, according to a report from the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform (CHQPR) .
Nearly every state had at least one rural hospital at immediate risk of closure before the pandemic. In 22 states, 25 percent or more of rural hospitals were at immediate risk, according to the report.
The hospitals identified as being at immediate risk of closure had a cumulative negative total margin over the most recent three-year period, and their financial situation has likely deteriorated because of the pandemic.
Across the U.S., more than 800 hospitals – 40 percent of all rural hospitals in the country – are either at immediate or high risk of closure. The more than 300 hospitals at high risk closure either have low financial reserves or high dependence on nonpatient service revenues such as local taxes or state subsidies, according to the report.
Here are the number and percentage of rural hospitals at risk of closing in each state as of January 2021 based on the CHQPR analysis:
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