7 states that lost hospitals in 2021

Seven hospitals in seven states closed in 2021. That was a significant decline from a year earlier when more than 20 hospitals across 14 states shut down

California, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas all lost one hospital in 2021. The final closure of the year occurred Dec. 31, when West Reading, Pa.-based Tower Health shuttered its hospital in West Grove, Pa. 

Hospitals faced numerous hurdles last year, including deferring elective surgeries, which affected revenue, and managing higher costs related to workforce shortages. Hospitals across the U.S. saw an increase in labor expenses in November, with those in the West seeing costs rise 28.8 percent year over year, according to a report released Jan. 4 by healthcare consulting firm Kaufman Hall.

Many rural hospitals entered 2021 in a fragile position, but COVID-19 relief aid allowed most to remain in business. 

Two of the hospitals that closed last year — one in Kansas and one in Nebraska — were in rural areas. In 2020, 19 rural hospitals closed, according to the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research.

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