More than one out of every five rural hospitals in the U.S. is at risk of closing, according to a new report.

Among the factors putting these hospitals at risk are growing uncompensated care, declining inpatient volume, inadequate reimbursement from public payers, workforce shortages, high drug costs, and the opioid epidemic.

More than half of the rural hospitals in Mississippi and Alabama are at risk of closing, as are significant numbers of rural hospitals in Montana, Kansas, and Georgia.  Many of these at-risk hospitals are considered essential to their communities, a measure based on their service to vulnerable populations, the trauma care they offer, their location in a geographically isolated area, and the economic damage their closure would cause.

Learn more about the challenges faced by rural hospitals in parts of the country in the Fierce Healthcare report “These states have the most rural hospitals at ‘high risk’ of closure: report.”