In a story for Facing South, Medicaid could save hundreds of rural hospitals located in the southern part of America, if the states with the most hospital closures decided to expand. As pandemic money runs out, rural health care facilities are stuck between a rock and a hard place, and Medicaid is one way states can put an end to closures.

From the story: “Health care advocates say expanding Medicaid in the region could help rural hospitals stay afloat and provide needed care. To date, 38 states and Washington, D.C., have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act and 12 states have not, with eight of the non-expansion states in the South. The non-expansion states have seen more rural hospital closures.

“The data has shown a tremendous positive impact to rural facilities in states that have expanded Medicaid,” Alan Morgan, CEO of the National Rural Health Association, told Facing South.

Southern states have seen the most hospital closures over the last 17 years, according to the Sheps Center. There have been 24 closures in Texas, 16 in Tennessee, and 11 in North Carolina — all Medicaid non-expansion states.”

Currently there are two bills in Congress waiting to address the issue. But as the clock runs out on funding, the tension is rising to find some way to keep rural facilities open.

To read the rest of the story, click here.

SOURCE: The Rural Blog, Facing South