Rural hospitals located in states that did not expand their Medicaid programs, as authorized by the Affordable Care Act, are at much greater risk of closing than hospitals in states that did expand their Medicaid programs.

According to a Stateline report, most of the 100 rural hospitals that have closed since 2010 and most of the more than 600 rural hospitals that are considered to be in danger of closing now are located in states like Texas, Mississippi, and 12 others that have not expanded their Medicaid programs.

Small rural hospitals that have not closed serve large proportions of uninsured patients, some of whom would have qualified for Medicaid had their state expanded its Medicaid program, providing at least some revenue in return for the services they have provided.  Some of these hospitals, already located in areas that tend to have more low-income residents, more people without health insurance, and more people with health problems, respond to this financial challenge by closing obstetrics units and other expensive services, saving money but reducing access to care in their communities.

Learn more about the financial challenges rural hospitals face and how those challenges now jeopardize their very existence in the Stateline report “Rural hospitals in greater jeopardy in non-Medicaid expansion states.”