WICHITA, Kan. (KNS/KMUW) – A new report finds more than half of rural hospitals in Kansas are at risk of closing. That could force residents to travel farther during medical emergencies.
Kansas has seen nine rural hospitals close since 2005. But the report, from the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform, found that another 53 are at risk of closing, with nearly half of those at immediate risk.
When rural hospitals close, residents have to travel farther to get emergency and even medical care.
Researchers cited financial woes, including insurance plans not fully covering the cost of providing essential services. Hospitals in states like Kansas, that have not expanded Medicaid, are more likely to be at risk of closure because hospitals take a financial hit when caring for uninsured people.