JACKSON - While everyone in The Delta has been concerned with about the Greenwood-Leflore Hospital taking its last gasps, the rest of the state has only recently started paying attention.

A Mississippi Senate hearing gave some significant insight into the future of Greenwood-Leflore Hospital, and you may not light what that future holds.

"If we're in need of a crisis to make us focus, we've got one" said Sen. Hob Bryan D-Amory. As the Mississippi Senate Committee on Public Health and Welfare gaveled to order, Greenwood Leflore Hospital was front-and-center on the agenda.

"I'm hearing, Greenwood was having severe difficulties. I thought that was a crisis situation. And so I began to see what the lay of the land was. And the response was, Well, it's not merely Greenwood. That's just the first one. But hospitals across the state are in a terrible bind." said Bryan.

That was just the beginning, the news got worse from there.

"It's estimated that 38 of our hospitals have our rural hospitals statewide are in danger of either immediate closure or closure and the near term." said Daniel Edney, Mississippi State Health Officer.

38 hospitals... that's 54 Percent of all acute care hospitals in Mississippi, much of the failures owed to the economics of healthcare, where in The Delta, we rely on public assistance more than any other region.

"For Greenwood, the Medicare and Medicaid reliance is significant. It's almost 75 to 80% of their book of business and that's going to pay you right after right below your call. That makes it really hard, really hard when you're trying to get the revenue" said Richard Robinson, Mississippi Hospital Association

And the news gets worse again... setting up what some call a no-win situation.

"But when we look in to access for the Mississippi Delta then it really doesn't matter what your insurance status is. You can have the best Blue Cross plan in Millarsville, Mississippi and you're going to have difficulty with access to care. And unfortunately that is getting worse instead of better," said Robinson.

So many of us apparently flee to Jackson or Memphis, leaving hospital beds here, empty.

"When I saw a lot of low volume instances at Greenwood before then I started looking around the Delta and census numbers. It was alarming to me at that point that something was going on in the Delta specifically," said Edney.

But no one could come up with a solution except for one, quintessentially Delta prescription for a delta problem.

Senators say Parchman holds many inmates eligible for release, but it can't release because they're not eligible for Medicaid.

They propose a nursing home for these inmates... and guess where.

"far as I know, no one ever considered the notion of trying to locate that nursing home in Greenwood and having Greenwood hospital own it." said Bryan.

There are many who say tonight... whatever UMMC was offering... looked a whole lot better.

Watch the whole hearing HERE

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