This week, North Carolina became the fortieth state to expand Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act. House Bill 76 is projected to increase coverage to hundreds of thousands of people and pave the way for billions of dollars in federal government support.
Some rural hospitals are in such bad shape, they're selling for next to nothing. One company is snapping several distressed or closed hospitals in rural Tennessee, hoping to turn a profit.
When it comes to persuading people to get a COVID-19 vaccine, health care professionals are influential. But in some rural communities, hospital staff themselves are hanging back.
In Kansas City, hospitals are treating local COVID-19 patients as well as patients transferred from rural counties in Missouri and Kansas, where there's no mandate or culture for wearing masks.
The federal loans were meant to help hospitals survive the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet they're coming due now — at a time when many rural hospitals are still desperate for help.
America's rural hospitals were struggling even before the pandemic. Now, the loss of revenue from months of deferred treatments and surgeries have pulled more to the brink, as federal relief fades.
Small-town hospitals were already closing at an alarming rate before COVID-19, but now the trend appears to be accelerating just as the disease arrives in rural America.
About half of U.S. rural hospitals operate in the red on a good day. Now facing a pandemic, hospital CEOs warn that, without federal help, their doors may close when the community most needs them.
A national study shows that North Carolina ranks high on a list of states with community hospitals in danger of closing.