Rural hospital shutting down

Louisburg, N.C. (WNCT) – Another rural hospital is shutting its doors, affecting health care in Franklin County.

Novant Health’s Franklin Medical Center will stop admitting patients Friday, October 16th. It’s the county’s only hospital.

Experts say closing hospitals is something rural communities are going to see more frequently in the coming years.

UNC Professor Mark Holmes says several factors have come together to accelerate this trend, including the recession, shrinking populations, changing technology, and insurance reimbursement changes.

“We do see some circumstances where the hospital can turn it around. But, for the most part, it’s usually a long and slow steady change,” said Holmes.

Since 2010, 57 rural hospitals have closed nationwide, including three in North Carolina. Vidant’s Pungo Hospital in Belhaven is one that closed here in the East.

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