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Rural Hospitals Under Pressure

How stressed are rural hospitals?

The radiology technician slept in an RV in the parking lot for more than a week because his co-workers were out sick with COVID-19, and no one else was available to take X-rays.

A doctor and physician assistant tested positive on the same day, briefly leaving the hospital without anyone who could write prescriptions or oversee patient care.

The Rush County Memorial Hospital in La Crosse is full, but diverting patients isn’t an option because surrounding medical centers are overwhelmed.

The larger Hays Medical Center 25 miles away from La Crosse was always willing to take patients that needed more advanced care in the past, but it turned away 103 transfers in November alone.

In the 14 years prior, it had rejected transfers just twice.

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