- Associated Press - Thursday, November 12, 2015

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - At least nine rural Mississippi hospitals are at risk of closing down, according to a new study.

Hospitals in Covington, Holmes, Tippah, Attala, Adams, Noxubee, Tallahatchie, Pearl River and Copiah counties were identified as running the risk of closure, The Clarion-Ledger reports (https://on.thec-l.com/1HCmqjO).

In addition to those most in danger of closing, 22 more Mississippi hospitals were considered generally at risk.

The study, “The Economic Impact of Potential Closures of Rural Hospitals in Mississippi,” was conducted by university academics and health care and policy professionals.

Researchers said they arrived at their findings based on the hospitals’ profitability, uncompensated care and Medicaid shortfalls. According to the study, reasons for the hospitals’ struggles include the national recession that hit in 2008, population loss in rural areas and lack of capital.

“Rural hospitals across the nation are facing a crisis due to ever-changing economic, policy, and population factors,” the report said.

The study offers a list of recommendations, including the creation of freestanding emergency departments and the integration of existing services.

“The findings suggest that although rural hospitals in Mississippi face a host of challenges, there is also ample opportunity for hospitals to leverage a broad base of federal and state initiatives and self-help actions that ensure rural communities can meet the health needs of their local populations,” the study said.


Information from: The Clarion-Ledger, https://www.clarionledger.com

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