5 votes Coronavirus threatens the lives of rural hospitals already stretched to breaking point Posted March 22 by skybrian Tags: coronaviruses.covid19, healthcare, hospitals, rural https://khn.org/news/coronavirus-threatens-the-lives-of-rural-hospitals-already-stretched-to-breaking-point/ Link information This data is scraped automatically and may be incorrect. Authors Lauren Weber Published Mar 21 2020 Word count 1079 words 1 comment Collapse replies Expand all Comments sorted by most votes newest first order posted relevance OK skybrian (OP) March 22 Link From the article: From the article: Rural hospitals may not be able to keep their doors open as the coronavirus pandemic saps their cash, their CEOs warn, just as communities most need them. As the coronavirus sweeps across the United States, all hospitals are facing cancellations of doctor visits and procedures by a terrified populace — profitable services that usually help fund hospitals. Meanwhile, the institutions also find themselves needing to pay higher prices for personal protective equipment such as face masks and other gear that’s in short supply. Vice President Mike Pence called on hospitals nationwide Wednesday to delay elective surgeries to free up capacity and resources for future coronavirus patients. The American Hospital Association responded Thursday by asking Congress for $100 billion for all hospitals to offset coronavirus costs, citing rural hospitals’ inability to withstand huge losses for long. "If we’re not able to address the short-term cash needs of rural hospitals, we’re going to see hundreds of rural hospitals close before this crisis ends," warned Alan Morgan, the head of the National Rural Health Association [...] Well before the COVID-19 threat, rural health care’s profitability had collapsed nationwide due to a combination of narrowing Medicare reimbursements, a larger share of patients lacking high-paying private insurance and the hollowing out of rural America. Given such pressures, more than 120 rural hospitals have been forced to close over the past decade.