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Posting on the Huffington Post, Jeffery Young writes: North Carolina Hospital Closes, Citing No Medicaid Expansion

A small hospital in a coastal North Carolina community will close its doors within months and its parent company says Gov. Pat McCrory’s (R) decision not to expand Medicaid under President Barack Obama’s health care reform law is partly to blame.

But wait, there’s more…

Other considerations, including outdated facilities, also led to the company’s decision to close the hospital but North Carolina foregoing the Medicaid expansion contributed to the decision, Vidant Health CEO David Herman told The Huffington Post.

I’m not surprised we’re seeing smaller community hospitals struggle. Last week the great Mike Sevilla, MD wrote an op-ed for KevinMD questioning: is the end near for small community hospitals?

Without doubt, I think we’ll see more of these closures. But we have to also pay attention to the root cause, particularly in these still early days of PPACA’s implementation.

Note Mr. Herman’s other considerations —outdated facilities. At some point, buying a multimillion dollar scanner or other required life saving equipment for a 49 bed hospital just doesn’t make sense.

It also may not make sense to operate 49 bed hospitals within an hour’s drive of a larger, more sophisticated facility.

We’re seeing the shift away from the shiny hospital on the hill as the only anchor for providers and care delivery for a community.

That story is a lot more interesting than politics and Medicaid expansion.