U.S. Hospitals Shut at 30-A-Year Pace, With No End in Sight

Industry M&A may be no savior as the pace of hospital closures, particularly in hard-to-reach rural areas, seems poised to accelerate. Hospitals have been closing at a rate of about 30 a year, according to the American Hospital Association, and patients living far from major cities may be left with even fewer hospital choices as insurers push them toward online providers like Teladoc Inc. and clinics such as CVS Health Corp’s MinuteClinic. Morgan Stanley analysts led by Vikram Malhotra looked at data from roughly 6,000 U.S. private and public hospitals and concluded eight percent are at risk of closing; another 10 percent are considered “weak.”

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