15 Kentucky hospitals at risk of closing

Parkway Regional Hospital in Fulton, Ky., officially closed Tuesday, and 15 other hospitals in Kentucky are at risk of doing the same, according to an Associated Press report.

An audit of 66 rural hospitals in Kentucky revealed 68 percent of them are below the national average in assessed financial strength, and 15 of the hospitals examined are in danger of closing due to poor financial health, according to the report.

However, officials in Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear's administration argue the audit findings paint an incomplete picture since 14 rural hospitals in the state did not participate.

Kentucky Hospital Association CEO Michael Rust didn't have the same viewpoint as the governor and said if the remaining hospitals had been included the financial picture wouldn't have been substantially different, according to Kentucky Health News.

The audit findings also do not include the $506 million that went to Kentucky hospitals in 2014 for Medicaid enrollees.

State Auditor Adam Edelen said the audit should serve as a "baseline for studying the financial future of rural hospitals, which care for 45 percent of the state's population," according to the report.

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