Digital Media Center
Bryant-Denny Stadium, Gate 61
920 Paul Bryant Drive
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0370
(800) 654-4262

© 2024 Alabama Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Report: Alabama rural hospitals at risk of closing

The Alabama Hospital Association says more than a dozen Alabama hospitals are at an immediate risk of closing. These facilities reportedly lost more than $700 million dollars in 2022. The Association said even with federal relief money, Alabama hospitals have lost $1.5 billion dollars since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over two dozen hospitals are at risk of closing, but fifteen are at an immediate risk. The Association said these hospitals are in rural area of the state that are already under-represented in healthcare, but urban hospitals are also at risk for closure. Patients who can’t pay for health care are hurting the hospital’s bottom line, because they are also staying longer than ever before. Hospitals may not close completely, but facilities that are seeing financial stress may close departments, or stop offering certain surgeries or type of care to save money. Alabama reportedly has the lowest Medicare reimbursement in the country. Currently, one out of seven people who come to Alabama hospitals are uninsured. That includes up to fifteen percent of patients between the ages of 19 to 64.

The data comes from a recent Kaufmann Hall study of Alabama hospitals.

The Alabama Public Radio news team spent a year investigating rural health in the state. That effort was honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award, and the 50tn annual Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for Radio. APR also became the first radio news operation to receive the “John Seigenthaler Prize for Courage in Journalism” from RFK Human Rights for its rural health coverage. APR was selected over the New York Times, The Washington Post, PBS Frontline, and ABC Network TV, among other newsrooms.

Pat Duggins is news director for Alabama Public Radio.
Related Content
News from Alabama Public Radio is a public service in association with the University of Alabama. We depend on your help to keep our programming on the air and online. Please consider supporting the news you rely on with a donation today. Every contribution, no matter the size, propels our vital coverage. Thank you.