Health and Human Services Region 5 Director Michael Cabonargi discussed the challenges rural hospitals face at the 2023 Illinois State of Reform Health Policy Conference.
About 140 hospitals in the region—which is based in Chicago, and serves Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin—closed or ceased providing direct care from 2010-2018, Cabonargi said. Those numbers have thinned recently, however, as a total of 10 hospitals closed from 2021-2022, he said.
“I think [the decrease is] largely because a lot of the COVID funding was still available for them. We’ve seen 40 close since the beginning of this year. We heard from folks about keeping our rural hospitals open. Rural healthcare can be different than other types of healthcare.”