Ohio rural hospitals face financial woes

Unsustainably high costs, combined with decreased federal reimbursements, have facilities operating in the red
Associated Press
Jul 13, 2014


Rural hospitals across Ohio face financial straits worse than their urban counterparts as expenses rise and health care reimbursements decline.

A January snapshot by iVantage Health Analytics found hospitals in the state's metropolitan counties were running slightly in the black, while those in non-metro counties — often the largest employers — showed narrow losses, The Columbus Dispatch reported Sunday (http://bit.ly/1sPvt52).

Four years ago, struggling hospitals in Washington Court House and Logan closed their maternity units. More recently, hospitals in Chillicothe and Zanesville saw their bond ratings downgraded. Hospital workers in Gallipolis face possible layoffs later this year, while OhioHealth announced this week it will close its inpatient hospital in Nelsonville before 2015.

The hospital's 24-hour emergency department will remain open until the completion of a new outpatient center, which will house urgent-care services.

"I hate to see us lose the 24-hour emergency room. If someone is injured here locally ... it's certainly more convenient to go a mile or two than go 14 or 15 miles to Logan or Athens," Nelsonville City Manager Mark Hall told the newspaper. The city's population is about 5,400. "There was a certain amount of pride that a city of our size was able to hang on as long as we did to the facility."

At issue are the unsustainably high costs of the U.S. health care system, which have been coupled by decreased federal government reimbursements.

Brock Slabach, senior vice president of the National Rural Health Association, said the challenges at rural hospitals are in some ways unique because they have trouble recruiting health care professionals while serving a population that's often older, sicker and poorer.

"We live on a thinner margin to begin with because we're not bolstered by a larger population of commercial payers," said Scott Cantley, CEO of Memorial Health System in Marietta, which has employed half a dozen consultants to help it become leaner.

Rural hospitals can no longer be all things for all people, their leaders say, as evidenced by the fact that 23 Ohio counties no longer have a hospital that delivers babies.

The federal Affordable Care Act has begun to address the costs of the uninsured and could also cut into charity-care costs, the newspaper reported — particularly in states such as Ohio that have expanded Medicaid. For many hospitals, including those in rural areas, the Medicaid expansion will help make ends meet in light of other cuts in government health care payments.

But Slabach said private carriers that sell insurance through the act's new government-run marketplaces often limit plan participants to narrow networks of providers that often exclude small hospitals.


The Big Dog's back

They have to pay for all of those free riding right wingers.

Bottom Line

Calling right wingers free riders? Hi kettle, this is the pot. You're black.

People as dumb as you honestly shouldn't be allowed to post. Constant blabbering with no facts, evidence or statistics whatsoever. Always. And whenever anyone asks you to support your outrageous claims with any of the above, since obviously you can't, you just sidestep it and call them a right wingnut. Please stop.

You're so stupid and desperate you'll probably accuse my comment of being racist.


Quoted incorrectly


Bottom Feeder-

You wont be accused of being intelligent , that's for sure , you dumbass.

Bottom Line

Jazzbo, as unlikely as it is, your comments are actually far more useless than Dog's. You are a leech. A parasite. You've never once posted an independent thought of your own. Obviously because you don't have one. Ever. All you ever do is make snide tidbit comments like a 9 year old to posters who actually have functioning brains and intellect.

I dare you to prove me wrong. Make a post longer than one sentence other than calling someone a name. Take an actual stand on just one topic using specific examples or actual facts. As opposed to attacking intelligent people for saying things that you WISH weren't true. But almost always are.

As delusional as posters like dog and deer consistently are, you actually make then look fairly intelligent. No easy task, indeed.


You think that many words are a sign of intelligence.
It only takes a few words to refute clowns like you.

Don't like my posts ? I don't care.

You think you're pretty hot stuff ? You are a nobody.

Bottom Feeder-- what do you think of Darwins choice post below ?

Bottom Line

Yeah you sure showed me!

Way to add in that one extra sentence to your original post. One or two more and you're flirting with a paragraph. I'm sure you'll sleep good tonight.

In all honesty I should probably go easy on someone who's not quite fit to qualify for the special Olympics.


Give me your best shot because you are self - important nobody.

Bottom Line


You do deserve an answer to your question. I do NOT think that having liberal views in general makes someone a waste of oxygen. However, I do think anyone who vehemently defends this particular POTUS, who has redefined lying and hypocrisy, certainly including but not limited to his failing healthcare system, time after time is a waste of oxygen. I think anyone who defends the actions of, and who wants to appease illegal aliens, which are the reason so many hospitals in border counties are struggling to operate, is a a waste of oxygen. Anyone who falls into those categories is contributing to the downfall of this once great nation. So yes they are a waste of oxygen. Precisely.


I thought you would say something stupid and you didn't let me down.

This once great nation is being destroyed by people with minds like yours -- but you are dumber.

The Big Dog's back

jazzbo, bottom feeder's posts are nothing but derogatory and he has the nerve to criticize someone else's post? I stand by my original post.


No doubt.
He's just another nasty , evil, ignorant , hate-filled , rightwing poster .

Darwin's choice

No, it's all the old fat azzes like, you, who by defecient life choices, have to have outrageously expensive surgery to keep your dumbazz's alive. You're a waste of oxygen. You had been given a second chance at life, and true to azzhole form, you continue your decadent lifestyle. Maybe a chemical intake reaction will finish you off.



Darwin , you should have your teeth punched out.


What teeth? Those are dentures. He needs to take them out and put them in some acid! Very nasty!


From eating turds , Im sure.

Darwin's choice

You too sissy!

Darwin's choice

I'll be your huckleberry, sissy! I'd love to give you idiots a chance to use your hospital coverage, maybe you can get that lobotomy you sorely need.


The Big Dog's back

In your case you would have to even have a brain to do a lobotomy.

Darwin's choice

Maybe you should take up jogging fatazz, try out the new plumbing. See if it was a waste of money.



Darwin / turd


@dog.... A first time reader would say that your comment was simply moronic... Until they read your other comments and could put it into perspective...

But even I have to say that this post is a standout... You have struck a high note in the symphony of libtard lunacy.


..And feel free to take tomorrow off from posting.


When I think you cant be any stupider, you never seem to disappoint. Do you even realize how dumb you sound? Illegals alone cost $11 billion year. You know, those people you libs want invading and sucking our country dry!


And being the vast majority of Medicaid recipients are democrats, how do you come up with you lame comment?



Re: "Medicaid recipients"

And since the feds are squeezing health care reimbursement payments, an increasing number of private providers are refusing to see new or existing Medicaid and even Medicare patients.

Remember: The V.H.A. is the model for the socialists desire for single payer.

The V.H.A.? "What’s behind this success?"

Let lefty economist Paul Krugman tell ya:



LOL you really need to quit sniffing glue. If you look at the graph it was by individual persons not by state. Just because its a red state doesn't mean there isn't any democrats!! Nice try on the spin though.


So only the Dems in the red states receive stamps? Nice try wrong guy!


Good lord cant you read? That's not what I stated, but we all know you libs will always spin like a top taking only snippets of comments to justify your lame point of view.


Re: "Dems in the red states receive stamps?"

Off-topic blather.

The Big Dog's back

The only 2 I see spinning anything are deuce pooh and his sidekick.


Re: "The only 2,"

Just off-topic nonsense from nitwit and blather boy.


Re: "That was easy!"

Off-topic blather.

The Big Dog's back

So you think it's Liberals living in the rural areas with their houses on wheels? Really? Confederate flags on the front of their houses and pick up trucks and you think these are Liberals? Kids running all over the rural trailer parks and you think these are Liberals? Their drunken old man lying in the yard passed out and you think these are Liberals? Tattoos from head to foot and you think these are Liberals? Let's see, did I leave anything out?


The article covered all aspects of welfare you window licking fool, maybe you should have read the article. Confederate flags? Um that was a democrat thing, loosen the helmet there puppy poo your short on oxygen. Ok since you started the argument, what about all the thugs in the inner city? Baby mommas popping out idiots like you one after another, dealing drugs robbing hard working people, leaching off the government shooting anyone that happens to be in the area. Hanging in front of the liquor store, buying lottery tickets with EBT cards, kids not being watched, putting $2000 rims on a car that's worth $500. Puppy all those things you describe are happening in the inner city, minus the confederate flag. MORON


" Tattoos from head to foot ...."

-- And you should see the men.


.....and Kessler's bottles strewn about the PARK and you think they are what????????


I do think there are as many of the looney left wingers as the right wingers.

Also an article in the SR just a short time ago Stein Hospice advised the necessity to cut some of their personnel because the left wing nut president did cut some from Medicare to help pay for Obomacare. He did advise that the cuts were possible because they would cut the subsidies to the insurance companies however awhile ago the government advised that if the insurance companies could not make a specific set profit the government would subsidize them.

JD's picture

Yup that is the problem


Never mind they fly everyone to a BIG hospital for a hangnail these days.


That is so true. I am still wondering why they flew Kevin Randleman out.


Re:"Never mind they fly everyone to a BIG hospital for a hangnail these days."

If they fly you to the Cleveland Clinic you hopefully you have a private insurance company coverage because the clinic does not accept all of the ACA coverages.

Cleveland Clinic accepts dozens of insurance plans if you buy one on your own. But go through Obamacare and you have just one choice: Medical Mutual of Ohio. The information about the clinic was in an Oct.30.2013 article published by U.S.News &World Report. It did also advise of other top hospitals that also will not accept just 1 or2 companies operating under Obamacare.

Ergo if they would transport a person to one of the top hospitals without first finding out what coverage they have and that person did not have a coverage that the hospital accepted then that person could have a problem.


Wow. Hospitals that have been in business for YEARS -- and that's despite the much-maligned, non-paying, uninsured consumers -- are now finding themselves in dire financial straits. Gosh, (Obamacare), I wonder why (Obamacare) THAT might be?

Meanwhile, at least some things never change! Big Dog remains the single biggest source of point-and-laugh material on this site. Congrats, buddy, keep it up! You rarely fail to make me giggle, and they DO say that laughter is the best medicine! And thank god for that since Obamacare has put both healthcare AND insurance coverage beyond my reach!

The Big Dog's back

sam, we know you hate Obama so you don't have to put it in every post.


When we're on a negative subject for which Obama bears no blame, I'll not mention him. When we're on a negative subject for which Obmama SHARES blame, I'll happily spread the fault around. In the unlikely event he ever does anything that's actually GOOD for the country, I'll even give him whatever credit he may be due.

I don't mention Obama in every post (in fact, I submit that you -- with all of your "right wingnuts" and "teabagger" comments -- make more political hay out of virtually every story than I do). But the truth of the matter is that almost all of the problems we have in this country today DO happen to be political in nature and have been caused by various and sundry politicians or political appointees. While it's certainly the ignoramus progressive voter that bears the bottom line blame, it's their elected officials who carry it out and that means Obama when it comes to a lot of the national-level nonsense. As you've repeatedly gloried in pointing out: HE WON. The inevitable corollary ensuring we now all lose is the natural fall-out.


So you really believe these hospitals are closing because of the ACA? You really are a sham!


Actually A lot of Hospitals are closing because of the ACA cutting funds to give hand outs to private insurers expecting the states to pick up the tab.
Your road is paved with good intentions and rational people know where that road leads. Take heart though, I am sure the closings were all unintentional or you will be able to blame some else for it.


No. I believe that the ACA was a significant contributing factor. At a bare minimum, the ACA was the straw that broke the camel's back.

The Big Dog's back

And you wouldn't believe it any other way, right?


Here's the difference between "faith" and "fact:" Facts are those things which, whether you "believe" in them or not, do not change. You go right on ahead and keep the faith in the miserable failure that is Obama and his namesake healthcare boondoggle. It makes you look kind of cute. You know, like a very small child whose credulity is sometimes a joke to the grown-ups? Yeah, sorta like that...


Re:"So you really believe these hospitals are closing because of the ACA? You really are a sham!"

If you cannot prove that they are not closing because of the ACA then you are a sham!




Re: "Seriously,"

ACA takes money from Medicare reimbursements and spends it on new Medicaid FREE patients, Obamabot.

"Obama Admits He Cut Billions from Medicare to Fund Obamacare"



Over the years and most recently we have heard all the negatives of Medicare and now Obamacare (which is really the Affordable Care Act). Yet yesterday it hit me as I stood at Target Pharmacy to pick up a prescription. An elderly lady before me was talking with the pharmacist saying she had stopped taking a certain prescription for it had become too expensive and she could not afford it.

I stood there and thought the US is the richest nation in the world and yet we can not provide our citizens with the healthcare they deserve. Probably a lady that has paid taxes at every level of government for all her life. Yet the US has a seemingly unlimited amount of money to fight wars in the Middle East, provided FREE medical care to Iraqi citizens after the war as I saw it while serving in the military. The line up of Iraqi citizens being treated for every ill FREE on your and my tax ticket. Think of all the money we give in financial aid to countries that turn around and thumb their noses at America and lecture us we are not doing enough to help the poor around the world. And of course there are those of our very own citizens who detest our country providing any no charge medical care to our own citizens saying oh the hospital or somebody will take care of them....it's sure not my problem or my wallet that should pay for them.

Obamacare is by no means perfect BUT at least it's a step in the direction of doing what is right. Yea, I am sure this or that person will say well they are getting a free ride and never work and staying unemployed etc ....I have heard all that too.......BUT even then I am not ready to chuck the whole system of Obamacare for that one person or even a 1000+ you think that are milking the system. Nor am I ready to scrap the system just because I don't like President Obama and never will. At least he is doing something to provide health care to those who don't have it and that is more than I can say for the President's before him.

The Big Dog's back

To bad the Repubs don't spend their time trying to improve it instead of wasting their time trying to repeal it.


puppy poo I thought obamacare was so good? Now you say it needs fixed? Which is it?


Just the point I am getting at.

I bought a new car two weeks ago and was said by Motor Trend, Car & Driver, etc to be the best car on the market in it's class. It had a slight adjustment that had to be made to it and took it to the dealer last week. Fixed and is fine.

Does the fact the car was not perfect mean I should have taken it to the Erie County Landfill vs the dealer? Would it be better for me to be walking to work today vs driving because the car had a problem that needed to be fixed?

Too many of us at times including myself throw the baby out with the bath water for we are so concerned about the quality of the water we forget to see the child in water.


Re: "bought a new car,"

If public bureaucrats designed, built and serviced your car, you'd probably be seriously considering taking it to the ECL.

Reminds me of the E. German Trabant.


JMOP's picture

You are comparing a car that you bought (not forced to buy, or be penalized)? Exactly how long did it take to get it fixed by the dealer? Longer than let's say... a Vet had to wait to see a doctor at the VA? Did someone dictate which dealership you bought your car from because others couldn't accept your money?

Could you also help pick up the tab when I buy my next car? If I don't take care of it, I'm sure it will only last a few more years.


Just the point I was making.

I have a new car that is just two weeks old and it needed some adjustments to a system on the car. This was a car that was rated number one in it's class by Motor Trend, Car & Driver, etc. yet it had a problem. I took it to the dealer and it was fixed.

Do you think it would have been better for me to have driven the car to the Erie County Landfill and left it there vs going to the dealer? Would it have been better for me to be walking this morning to work and said well the car had a problem and I chose not to fix it but rather to trash it.

When in the military I was at Fort Lee, VA. The Army refurbished 30+ buildings with new vinyl siding and lighting etc. Just 2 years later they tore everyone of those buildings down and built a new soldier residence facility. Waste? Absolutely, and we joked that the vinyl siding guy probably was a huge supporter of............yes President GW Bush for he was the Commander & Chief. So was the answer to scrap the entire military for this one problem...............Absolutely not. It was fix it so that waste was never repeated again. Same goes for other government programs.


Half the ACA is not even implemented yet, Just wait till the other half gets here and we can all see how bad it needs scrapped. Hell Obama has held up more of the bill than any republican has.

Dr. Information

There is still the same amount of people uninsured as there was BEFORE Obamacare.


Gardenman --

If you are a Republican -- you are one of the few sensible and rational ones Ive seen.

And in this comment section - you are the ONLY one.


Re: "At issue are the unsustainably high costs of the U.S. health care system, which have been coupled by decreased federal government reimbursements."

"Decreased federal government reimbursements."

THAT'S how the fed's are 'controlling healthcare costs'; by squeezing the provider. Smoke and mirrors.

Another factor for closing hospitals: Rural populations are decreasing in the U.S. and urban ones are growing.

jibber jabber

GEE WIZ, I sure am glad that Obama affordable act was passed. It seems there was a PICK and CHOOSE who got the "charity-care" Leaving some completely desolate, having to pay every little penny back to the hospitals, no matter how much they were broke. BUT Obama Care affordable care act has a long way to go, to over come this kind of Bull Sh*t. I say, shut them DOWN.
AND where is a list of these said hospitals?

Dr. Information

Democrats praise King Obamacare and yet it hasn't even kicked in yet. THAT alone goes to show you how delusional they are.