Almost two-thirds of rural hospitals across Mississippi are losing money taking care of patients. 

Data from the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform from mid-January shows that 48 of Mississippi’s 74 rural hospitals have a negative patient services margin.

Patient services margins refer to how much money a hospital makes or loses providing services to patients. It does not account for federal grants hospitals may have received during the pandemic. 

In Mississippi, rural hospitals are integral to the survival of communities, economically and physically. When they shutter, it means the loss of job opportunities and health care. 

READ MORE: ‘Slightly more breathing room’: Fewer rural hospitals at risk of closure, but threat still looms

The center uses hospitals’ patient services margin to calculate risk of closure. If the hospital has enough assets to maintain operations while in the negative for several years, it’s at risk of closure, though not immediate. 

“If a hospital is losing money on patient services and they are not getting enough money from other sources to offset those losses, it’s losing money overall,” said Harold Miller, president and CEO of the national policy center. “In other words, they owe more than they have.”

A quarter of Mississippi’s rural hospitals are at risk of closing immediately, or within the next two to three years — the fourth highest percentage in the country. 

Use this map and hover over your area to find out what your hospital’s patient services margin is.

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Devna Bose, a Neshoba County native, covers community health. She is a 2019 graduate of the University of Mississippi, where she studied print journalism and was a member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College. Before joining Mississippi Today, Devna reported on education at Chalkbeat Newark and at the Post and Courier’s Education Lab, and on race and social justice at the Charlotte Observer. Her work has appeared in the Hechinger Report, the Star-Ledger and the Associated Press, and she has appeared on WNYC to discuss her reporting. Devna has been awarded for her coverage of K-12 education in the Carolinas.

Alex Rozier, from New York City, is Mississippi Today’s data and environment reporter. His work has appeared in the Boston Globe, Open Secrets, and on In 2019, Alex was a grantee through the Pulitzer Center’s Connected Coastlines program, which supported his coverage around the impact of climate change on Mississippi fisheries.