Access to Healthcare in Alabama Black Belt

 Friday, October 16, 2020

A report from the University of Alabama’s Education Policy Center examined healthcare access in the 24 counties that make up Alabama’s Black Belt highlighting the lack of access to care, the closure of hospitals and the impact of COVID-19 on an already strained system. The report noted that 17 out of the 24 counties are below the statewide average of 3.9 beds per 1,000 residents, while four of those counties do not have a hospital at all. Researchers noted that Alabama’s hospitals have lost billions in federal funding by not expanding Medicaid, and that hospitals in states that expand Medicaid are 84 percent less likely to close.