Up to 28 Kentucky hospitals at risk of closure

Four rural hospitals in Kentucky have shut down since 2009 and up to 28 others are vulnerable to closure, according to a report from the Kentucky Hospital Association. 

The 68 rural hospitals in Kentucky employ more than 24,000 people and rely heavily on government payers. The state has the sixth highest percentage of hospital patients covered by Medicare or Medicaid, according to the report. 

Many rural hospitals in Kentucky were facing significant financial strain before the COVID-19 pandemic, and between 16 and 28 rural hospitals in the state are at risk of closure if their financial situation does not improve, according to studies cited by the Kentucky Hospital Association. 

The report estimates that Kentucky hospitals will lose more than $2.6 billion in 2020 due to COVID-19. After federal relief funds, they will face estimated losses of about $1.3 billion. 

Due to the financial hardship linked to the pandemic, the Kentucky Hospital Association is calling on state policymakers not to impose additional provider taxes or cut Medicaid reimbursement. 

Read the full report here

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