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Florida's Rural Hospital Closures

  • In 2019, approximately 718,558 Floridians were living in rural areas.

  • Even among the insured, many rural Floridians face challenges in accessing health care, including lack of providers in the area, closing of rural hospitals, and having to travel long distances to get health care.  

  • About 37 percent of rural Floridians were uninsured in 2018 (Georgetown University Center for Children and Families).

To qualify for Medicaid in Florida you must have a dependent child and make less than about 31% of the federal poverty level (ex: $7,000/yr for a family of 3). There is NO help for childless adults, regardless of how much you make.

  • Since 2010, over 94 rural hospitals have been closed and this has been largely in states that have not expanded Medicaid. Rural hospitals are more vulnerable to closure due to lack of funding.

  • This includes Critical Access Hospitals, clinics that are more than 35 miles from another hospital.

  • In Florida:

    • 7 rural hospitals have closed since 2005

    • 5 of the 7 hospitals closed in 2017 or later, including 3 hospitals in 2020

    • 3 Critical Access Hospitals have closed since 2017

    • 2 of the CAH’s to close in 2020 (Shands Live Oak Regional Medical Center, Shands Starke Regional Medical Center) were medical homes for 70% of the local community

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How Have Florida's Hospital Closures Impacted You?

Share Your Story and Recieve a $25 gift card.

Florida Voices for Health is capturing the stories of Floridians to help leaders understand why we need to protect Florida's rural hospitals. 

By telling us your story, you help speak for people who may be facing issues just like yours. You have the opportunity to help change the future for millions of Floridians.

How Does It Work?

  • Fill out the form below

  • Text us at 850.296.2241

  • Email us at

  • Find us on Facebook Messenger (@FLVoices4Health)

Submit your story using the form below. After you submit your story, a member of our staff may contact you to learn more about your situation and to ensure that Florida Voices for Health understands your story in detail.

Florida Voices for Health will match participants with opportunities to share their stories publicly. Opportunities may include: requests from the media, policymakers, and advocates; use in our online efforts; and use in our policy briefs.

We will always ask your permission before we release any contact information or highlight your story, and you can always opt out of any opportunity.

By submitting your story you agree to our consent and release guidelines.

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