Rural hospitals struggling to keep their doors open

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Rural hospitals across the nation are struggling to keep their doors open.

According to the University of North Carolina’s Sheps Center for Health Services Research, 102 rural hospitals have closed since January 2010.

Aside from closures, layoffs are another common theme at these smaller medical facilities. 

When OVMC and East Ohio Regional Hospital announced 70 layoffs last week, they cited those layoffs as part of a national trend that many rural hospitals are facing.

“It’s bad enough to be losing the inpatient but maybe that’s an inconvenience for a patient to have to go to a town 30, 40 miles away for inpatient services,” said Paul Moore, a Senior Health Policy Adviser at the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. “What is bad though is that when you lose the hospital, you not only lose that, you lose the emergency department.”

According to the AMA Journal of Ethics, an average of 13 rural hospitals closed each year between 2014 and 2018.

Stay with 7News as we continue to follow this national story, as well as the situation at OVMC. 

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