26 Rural Georgia Hospitals at Risk of Closure
More than 500 rural hospitals in the U.S. are at immediate risk of closing because of financial losses and lack of financial reserves to sustain operations, according to a report from the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform.
Nearly every state has at least one rural hospital at immediate risk of shutting down. In 21 states, 25 percent or more of rural hospitals were at immediate risk, according to the report.
The hospitals identified as being at immediate risk of closure had either low or non-existent financial reserves and a cumulative negative total margin over the most recent three-year period.
The more than 300 hospitals at high risk of closure either have lower financial reserves or high dependence on nonpatient service revenues such as local taxes or state subsidies, according to the report. READ MORE
In the past 10 years, eight rural hospitals have shut down in Georgia; only Texas and Tennessee have had more closures. As of October 2021, most of Georgia's rural landmass is only populated by a fifth of the state's population, and that percentage is shrinking. Georgia is now more heavily urbanized than ever.
December 2021: Cuthbert loses only hospital, nearest one is more than 25 miles away in Eufaula, AL.
How many rural hospitals are in Georgia?
Currently there are 31 designated CAHs in Georgia.
The CAH designation is designed to reduce the financial vulnerability of rural hospitals and improve access to healthcare by keeping essential services in rural communities.