Medicaid opt-outs to hit rural hospitals hardest

Rural healthcare delivery will be hit hardest in states that opt against expanding the Medicaid program, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Most states with large urban populations have already agreed to expand Medicaid, leaving rural regions to bear the brunt of the impact of not expanding the program. "The truth is, this will be really important money for rural hospitals, rural health providers, rural communities," said Tim McBride, an economist with the Rural Policy Research Institute. A recent HHS Office of Inspector General recommendation that critical access qualification criteria be changed would likely compound the financial issues for rural facilities, McBride said. Article