Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts Adam H. Edelen finally unveiled his “Special Report on the Financial Strength of Kentucky’s Rural Hospitals” on March 30th. The Report was introduced at a special press conference conducted in Frankfort and live streamed for review

Anyone even remotely familiar with the sustainability issues affecting the Commonwealth’s rural health sectors will not be surprised at any of the findings of the Special Report. What is surprising is that more rural hospitals have not already closed their doors, been bought or merged, or filed bankruptcy in an effort to restructure and reduce debt levels that are grossly overleveraged.  At this point, absent being located in an area where one of the bigger health systems are interested in making a purchase, predictions of this author are that many more will end up closing their doors or totally restructuring the services that they provide. Access to healthcare is critical to the future of our Commonwealth.

The 38 page Special Report and its exhibits are worth a read. They educate and explain all the challenges and disruptions in the health-care industry under the changing laws and regulations. The Report may be found at www.auditor.ky.gov.