Rural Hospitals in Iowa Suffering During COVID-19 Pandemic

IOWA - Most of Iowa's full service rural hospitals are being hurt by COVID-19.

The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism reports all but six of the state's 82 rural hospitals were operating in the red after the pandemic hit.

Some Iowa hospitals are at risk of closing, although none closed in 2020.

The losses have been experienced even though federal stimulus money was sent to hospitals in the early months of the pandemic.

Many hospitals switched away from more lucrative outpatient care to focus on COVID-19 cases during the pandemic.

The Iowa Hospital Association reported in December that lost an estimated $433 million in March through October because of COVID-19.

A report released late last week showed a national trend of financial difficulties for rural hospitals.

The full-service rural hospitals are referred to as Critical Access Hospitals.

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