Rural Health Policy Project

For Rural Hospitals, Medicaid Expansion Acts As Shot In The Arm


By: Seth Bodine

Eight rural hospitals in Oklahoma have closed in the last decade, the third highest rate of rural hospital closures in the country. But, the recent vote to expand Medicaid could provide rural hospitals with a much needed financial boost… Joan Alker, a research professor at Georgetown University who studies healthcare policy, said there is a higher percentage of uninsured people in rural areas of the state. “Oklahoma had 38% of their adults uninsured in rural areas versus 32% in metro areas,” Alker said. “Both are very, very high. But this (Medicaid expansion) is even more important for rural communities.”

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