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14 Rural Hospital Closures in 2020

Becker’s Healthcare

Nearly one in five Americans live in rural areas and depend on their local hospital for care. Over the past 10 years, 131 of those hospitals have closed.

More than 30 states have seen at least one rural hospital shut down since 2010, and the closures are heavily clustered in the South, according to data from the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research.

Listed below are the 14 rural hospitals that have closed this year, as tracked by the Sheps Center. For the purposes of its analysis, the Sheps Center defined a hospital closure as the cessation in the provision of inpatient services.

“We follow the convention of the Office of Inspector General that a closed hospital is ‘a facility that stopped providing general, short-term, acute inpatient care,'” reads a statement on the Sheps Center’s website. “We did not consider a hospital closed if it: merged with, or was sold to, another hospital but the physical plant continued to provide inpatient acute care, converted to critical access status, or both closed and reopened during the same calendar year and at the same physical location.”

As of August 21, all the facilities listed below had stopped providing inpatient care. However, some of them still offered other services, including outpatient care, emergency care, urgent care or primary care.

  1. Bluefield (W.Va.) Regional Medical Center
    *Provides urgent or emergency care
  2. Central Hospital of Bowie (Texas)
  3. Cumberland River Hospital (Celina, Tenn.)
  4. Decatur County General Hospital (Parsons, Tenn.)
  5. Edward W. McCready Memorial Hospital (Crisfield, Md.)
    *Provides urgent or emergency care
  6. Mayo Clinic Health System-Springfield (Minn.)
    *Provides outpatient/primary care
  7. Mountain View Regional Hospital (Norton, Va.)
    *Operates as a nursing or rehabilitation facility
  8. Pinnacle Regional Hospital (Boonville, Mo.)
  9. Shands Live Oak (Fla.) Regional Medical Center
    *Provides urgent or emergency care
  10. Shands Starke (Fla.) Regional Medical Center
    *Provides urgent or emergency care
  11. St. Luke’s Cushing Hospital (Leavenworth, Kan.)
    *Provides urgent or emergency care
  12. Sumner Community Hospital (Wellington, Kan.)
  13. UPMC Susquehanna Sunbury (Pa.)
    *Provides outpatient/primary care
  14. Williamson (W.Va.) Memorial Hospital

New Resources from the National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center

The National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center, a HRSA-funded National Training & Technical Assistance Partner (NTTAP), recently published two briefs that may be useful for health centers:

Final Recommendation Statement: Behavioral Counseling Interventions to Prevent Sexually Transmitted Infections

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has released a final recommendation statement on behavioral counseling interventions to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The task force recommends behavioral counseling for all sexually active teens and for adults who are at increased risk for STIs. To view the recommendation, the evidence on which it is based and a summary for clinicians, please click here.

Dentistry in the Era of COVID-19: What Dental Practitioners Need to Know

Plan to attend Dentistry in the Era of COVID-19: What Dental Practitioners Need to Know on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2:00 pm. This webinar, offered by the Mid-Atlantic AIDS Education & Training Center, will describe the anxiety and vulnerability medical and dental staff experience due to COVID-19 and identify how workflow practices have changed during the pandemic. It will also discuss how social and professional connectedness has changed due to the pandemic as well as discuss what practices organizations can utilize to protect and empower their staff during COVID-19 and in the future. Click here for more details and to register. One continuing education credit will be offered.

HHS Offers Telemedicine Learning Community

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Project ECHO, the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, the New Mexico School of Medicine, the Public Health Foundation and have partnered to offer the HHS Telemedicine Hack Learning Community. HHS Telemedicine Hack is a 10-week learning community to accelerate telemedicine implementation for ambulatory providers. There are five sessions remaining in the series. Learn more or register.

Pennsylvania Board of Osteopathic Medicine Increases Renewal Fees

On Aug. 15, the Pennsylvania Board of Osteopathic Medicine published its amended schedule of fees for biennial license renewals. The fee changes for osteopathic physicians, physician assistants and acupuncturists were effective on publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. The updated schedule increases all the Board’s biennial renewal fees to ensure revenue will meet the Board’s current and projected expenses. Please make note of these new fees as submission of incorrect licensure renewal fees will delay processing of submitted applications.

Mail Delivery Slowdowns a Challenge to Mail Order Prescriptions

The U.S. Postal Service has become a critical backbone of the country’s medication infrastructure, meaning slowdowns in mail delivery could have serious consequences for the millions of Americans who get prescription drugs through the mail. Treatments for cancer, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and other complex diseases increasingly are sent in the mail. And the coronavirus pandemic has spurred more people to get their routine prescriptions mailed to their homes as a safer alternative to visiting a pharmacy. Americans received 313 million adjusted prescriptions through the mail in 2019, often for common, generic medications that treat things like high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Black Americans Most Skeptical of Potential COVID-19 Vaccines

Black Americans are dying from COVID-19 at nearly 2½ times the rate of white people nationwide, according to the COVID Tracking Project, and despite representing roughly 13 percent of the population, they’ve accounted for 22 percent of coronavirus deaths in cases in which race and ethnicity are known. And yet, in a sign of deep-seated and well-earned distrust in the U.S. medical establishment, surveys have shown consistently that Black Americans are less willing than other racial and ethnic groups to accept a coronavirus vaccine. Read more.