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Many Rural Hospitals in Oklahoma Struggling Financially

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Experts say many of Oklahoma's rural hospitals are struggling financially, with several of the facilities putting the blame on a requirement to convert to an electronic medical records system.

Hospital consultant Val Schott says a high number of the state's rural hospitals are struggling to pay their expenses. He estimates that a dozen or so have less than 10 days' cash on hand to pay operational expenses.

Schott says the loss of a local hospital hurts the economy, because it's often one of the community's largest employers.

Roger Knak, CEO of Fairview Regional Medical Center in Major County, says the hospital was down to four days' cash on hand to pay expenses around a year ago, because of the electronic medical records requirement.