Attendees at the National Rural Health Association annual meeting this week in Las Vegas will hear a lot about recent closures of rural hospitals in states such as Alabama, Louisiana and Texas.
There have been few rural hospital closures across the country over the past 15 years. But multiple hospitals in the South have closed, including 10 in Alabama in the past three years, and others are worried about surviving. Alan Morgan, the association's CEO, blamed the closures on a number of factors, including reimbursement cuts, state decisions not to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, and broader changes in the market.
“All of these forces are hitting rural hospitals at the same time,” he said.