Hospitals risk closure as COVID relief ends


(NewsNation) — As COVID-19 relief funds end, hospitals across the country are facing financial losses and some are on the brink of closure.

The American Hospital Association says more than half of the nation’s hospitals are expected to be operating at a financial loss by the end of the year.

A shortage of health care workers and rising costs of care are leaving hospitals struggling. As hospitals face a drop in revenue, that cost could be passed on to patients in the form of higher insurance premiums or limited access to care.

In Texas, one in 10 hospitals are on the brink of closure, according to a new report. Smaller, rural hospitals that aren’t connected to larger health care systems are most at risk.

More than 9 percent of Texas hospitals are at risk for closure, an amount that’s nearly doubled since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

With the $178 billion federal pandemic relief program ending, the state is bracing for closures.

“You create a fiscal cliff that has to be dealt with at some point,” said John Hawkins, with the Texas Hospital Association.

Health care workers are begging Congress, as well as state legislatures and agencies, for more aid for the sake of their patients’ health.

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