- Associated Press - Friday, May 1, 2015

CHICAGO (AP) - Fifty hospitals in the rural United States have closed since 2010, and the pace has been accelerating.

So far, Illinois’ rural hospitals have avoided closure. But a consulting firm says 11 percent of Illinois’ rural hospitals are financially vulnerable and are similar to hospitals that have closed elsewhere.

The estimate comes from iVantage Health Analytics, a Portland, Maine-based firm that compiles a hospital strength index. The index is based on data about financial stability, patients and quality indicators.

Two Illinois hospitals have closed since 2010. Oak Forest Hospital in Chicago’s south suburbs closed in 2011 when Cook County converted it to an outpatient center to save money. Sacred Heart Hospital in Chicago closed in 2013 after an FBI raid and allegations of bribes to doctors.

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