Issue: closure

After A Rural Hospital Closes, Delays In Emergency Care Cost Patients Dearly

Nationwide, more than 110 rural hospitals have closed since 2010, and in each instance a community struggles to survive in its own way. In Fort Scott, home to 7,800, the loss of its 132-year-old hospital opened by nuns in the 19th century has wrought profound social, emotional and medical consequences. Kaiser Health News and NPR are following Fort Scott for a year to explore deeper national questions about whether small communities need a traditional hospital at all. If not, what would take its place?

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Have Cancer, Must Travel: Patients Left In Lurch After Hospital Closes

Continuity of care is crucial for cancer patients in the midst of treatment, which often requires frequent repeated outpatient visits. So when Mercy Hospital Fort Scott, a rural hospital in Kansas, was slated to close its doors at the end of 2018, hospital officials had arranged for its cancer clinic to remain open. Then “I got the email on Jan. 15,” said Reta Baker, the hospital’s CEO. It informed her that Cancer Center of Kansas, the contractor that operated and staffed the unit, had decided to shut it down too, just two weeks later.

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