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Charity care strains rural hospitals

Georgia Public Broadcasting, February 12, 2013
Rural health advocates say a small hospital that closed in southwest Georgia Feb. 1 may not be the only one to shut its doors in the coming months. These hospitals are facing a familiar economic storm: more patients are unemployed and have no health coverage. Many of those who have insurance can't afford the higher co-pays and deductibles. Meanwhile, government programs like Medicaid that used to help are shrinking. It all means the amount the hospitals spend on "uncompensated care" is climbing. Officials at Calhoun Memorial Hospital in Arlington cited that ballooning cost of care for patients who couldn't pay when they closed their doors.