The North Carolina Rural Research Program says 80 rural hospitals have closed since 2010, and Chartis lists 673 rural hospitals as being vulnerable, Radcliffe reports.
Before Medicaid expansion, hospitals still treated uninsured patients, but weren't paid for the care provided, Radcliffe notes. "By increasing the number of people with health insurance, the Medicaid expansion directly benefitted rural hospitals." Dr. Daniel Derksen, director of the Arizona Center for Rural Health, told Healthline that in states that expanded Medicaid, “we saw two important trends—reduction in uncompensated charity care and a reduction in the number, or the velocity, of the rural hospital closures."
Rural hospitals in the 19 states that chose not to expand Medicaid were more vulnerable, Radcliffe writes. Of the 80 hospitals listed by the North Carolina Rural Research Program 60 are in states that didn't expand Medicaid, led by 13 in Texas, seven in Mississippi, six in Tennessee and Georgia and five in Alabama. (Kaiser Family Foundation map: Medicaid expansion states)
told Politico last week that Congress will not only continue the Medicaid expansion, but broaden it.