Rural health care facilities are struggling financially in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Due to the virus, many hospitals cancelled non-essential visits and surgeries and sent some workers home.
Though some clinics and hospitals in big cities have been inundated with COVID-19 patients, rural hospitals largely have not. Many rural hospitals in Missouri remain mostly empty.
Patients have been avoiding hospitals out of fear, and hospitals have been canceling elective surgeries. That’s causing steep declines in revenue for hospitals that were already struggling financially before the pandemic.
The Sullivan County Memorial Hospital in northern Missouri was expecting a 50% to 55% decline in revenue for April.
“Our rural health care system is so fragile right now. We’ve already been cut to the bone,” Joshua Gilmore, Iron County Medical Center CEO, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.