Missouri hospital closes: 4 things to know

I-70 Community Hospital in Sweet Springs, Mo., is the sixth rural hospital to close in Missouri in the past five years, according to the Columbia Missourian.

Four things to know:

1. I-70 Community Hospital, owned by an affiliate of Kansas City, Mo.-based EmpowerHMS, suspended its license on Feb. 15. Although the hospital said the suspension would last no longer than 90 days, the hospital remains shuttered.

2. The 15-bed critical access hospital and its owners have faced financial challenges in recent months. On March 7, CMS terminated the hospital's Medicare contract. Two weeks later, the hospital filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

3. I-70 Community Hospital is one of 106 rural hospitals across that country that have closed over the past nine years, according to data from the North Carolina Rural Health Research Program at Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research. Six rural hospitals in Missouri have closed since 2014.

4. Roughly 37 percent of Missouri's population, or 2.2 million people, live in rural areas. However, only 9 percent of licensed physicians in the state practiced in rural areas in 2014, according to the Columbia Missourian, which cited statistics from the Hospital Industry Data Institute.

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