Hospitals in rural areas of the country are feeling a sharp financial pinch in states that have not expanded their Medicaid programs under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Community hospitals in rural counties of Tennessee, one of the states that have opted not to embrace Medicaid expansion, are facing financial pressure that could be relieved if more of their low-resource patients had Medicaid coverage. “In our health systems, they manage it. They have figured it out. Where it’s really hitting is our rural hospitals,” says Craig Becker, president of the Tennessee Hospital Association. “We’ve lost six rural hospitals in the last year, and we’re going to lose another one this year.”
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