101 rural hospitals have shut down since 2013: 5 things to know

There have been 101 rural hospital closures from January 2013 to February 2020, according to HHS data outlined by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. 

Five things to know about the closures:

1. Rural hospital closures affected 28 states. HHS data shows that 101 of the 2,260 rural hospitals in the U.S. that were open in 2013 closed. Closures occurred in 28 of the 50 states.

2. Texas had the highest number of rural hospital closures from 2013 to 2020. Texas had 21 rural hospital closures, the highest number of any U.S. state. Next were Tennessee, which had 12 hospital closures, and Oklahoma, which had seven.

3. 2019 marked the year with the most rural hospital closures. In 2019, there were 19 rural hospital closures. Other years, including 2013, 2014 and 2015 saw 15 hospital closures each.

4. Rural hospitals that closed saw total facility margin decline 10.5 percentage points in the year prior to closure. The GAO analysis found that hospitals saw their median margin decline from minus 3.3 percent in 2012 to minus 13.8 percent in the year prior to closure.

5. Inpatient beds and full-time employment opportunities dropped. Rural communities lost 2,066 inpatient beds and 6,347 full-time employees as a result of rural hospital closures.

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