Hospitals have been closing at a rate of about 30 a year, and patients living far from major cities may be left with even fewer hospital choices as insurers push them toward online providers and pharmacy clinics.
Technological improvements that allow patients to get more surgeries and imaging done outside of the hospital.
Bay Area Regional Medical Center in Webster declared bankruptcy in May, and Dr. Doug Curran, president of the Texas Medical Association says more closings are on the way.
“You're going to see especially smaller community hospitals that are going to be closing because they just can't keep their doors open, they're not getting adequate funding,” he says.
Dr. Curran says it's been a combination of gutting Obamacare and cuts to both Medicaid and Medicare.
“We have a lot of working poor that don't have any insurance and we have a lot people who can't afford the insurance that is available to them, so there's no payer in that arena,” he says. “The money that's coming to use from Meidcaid and Medicare is just inadequate to keep the doors open.”
The TMA plans to lobby for changes once the Texas Legislature reconvenes in January.
“We have a lot of uninsured people in Texas,” says Dr. Curran. “We are the leader in the nation in the uninsured arena and we have to fix that, and get those people some kind of coverage.”