Health Care

Kaitlyn Finley | June 18, 2020

24 rural hospitals have closed in Medicaid expansion states

Kaitlyn Finley

On June 30, Oklahoma will vote on State Question 802 which would amend the state constitution and add a provision to expand Oklahoma’s Medicaid program to include able-bodied adults. 

Supporters of State Questions 802 claim Oklahoma must expand Medicaid in order to protect rural hospitals from closure. They contend increasing the amount of Medicaid members in local communities will secure more government dollars for the local hospital.

But as Jay Johnson, CEO of Duncan Regional Hospital recently noted in a legislative hearing, hospitals lose money on each Medicaid patient they treat. Any business owner knows that focusing on securing a larger client base of money-losing customers is not sustainable long term. 

This is a major reason why dozens of rural hospitals are still closing in expansion states years after the state implemented expansion, as shown by the list below (compiled from Becker’s Hospital Review).  


Sitka Community Hospital (July 2019) 


Cochise Regional Hospital (July 2015) 


DeQueen Medical Center (May 2019) 


Feather River Hospital (February 2019) 
Coalinga Regional Medical Center (June 2018) 
Colusa Regional Medical Center (May 2016) 


St. Mary's Hospital (Jan 2016) 


Fayette Regional Health (May 2019) 


St. Elizabeth Healthcare (July 2017) 
Parkway Regional (March 2015) 
Nicholas County (May 2014) 


Doctors Hospital at Deer Creek (October 2018)


North Adams Regional Hospital (March 2014) 


Albany Area Hospital (October 2015) 
Mayo Clinic Health System-Springfield (March 2020)


Nye Regional Medical Center (August 2015) 

New York: 

TLC/Lakeshore Healthcare Center (January 2020) 


Doctor’s Hospital Nelsonville (July 2014)


Ellwood City (February 2020) 
UPMC Susquehanna Sunbury (January 2020) 


Pioneer Community (September 2015) 
Mountain View Regional Hospital (January 2020) 

West Virginia: 

Williamson Memorial Hospital (April 2020) 
Fairmont Regional Medical Center (March 2020) 

Kaitlyn Finley Policy Research Fellow

Kaitlyn Finley

Policy Research Fellow

Kaitlyn Finley currently serves as a policy research fellow for OCPA with a focus on healthcare and welfare policy. Kaitlyn graduated from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Previously, she served as a summer intern at OCPA and spent time in Washington D.C. interning for the Heritage Foundation and the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

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