Hundreds of rural hospitals in the U.S. are at risk of shutting down, according to a health care advisory services firm.

141 rural hospitals have closed since 2010.

Another 453 are "at risk of closure," according to a press release.

States most at risk include Texas (45), Kansas (38), Nebraska (29), Oklahoma (22), North Carolina (19), Georgia (18), and Mississippi (18), as listed in Becker’s Hospital Review.

In Wyoming, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Georgia, between 26% and 30% of hospitals are in danger, according to the report.

One major problem we can see is the number of years a hospital has been operating without making a profit.


It's a numbers game of how many patients they have compared to how many full-time staffers they must pay.

Other problems include the hospital’s share of Medicare and Medicaid outpatient charges and each hospital’s case mix index.

"As the urgency of the pandemic disappears, the return of policy-driven reimbursement cuts, population health disparities and the nurse staffing crisis will apply renewed pressure to the rural health safety net," accordting to Michael Topchik, from The Chartis Center for Rural Health.


"As economic pressures have increased for hospitals in the last few years, it has become increasingly difficult for these hospitals to stay financially profitable."


Female patient sitting on gurney in hospital gown, low section
Siri Stafford

Medicaid expansion in many of these states has hurt rural hospitals, due to its ever declining reimbursement rate for hospitals and doctors.

Between the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid and private insurers, hospitals have faced "ever smaller" reimbursement amounts, Perry said.

"Even with lowering reimbursement, operating costs have skyrocketed," he added. "This makes it very difficult for rural hospitals to be profitable enough to stay open."

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