Towns in Every State Where You May Not Get to the Hospital in Time

August 23, 2018 by Sam Stebbins

Source: LightFieldStudios / iStock
The share of Americans without health insurance fell from 15.5% to 8.6% since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law in 2010. While broader insurance coverage has improved access to health care for nearly 20 million Americans, millions more face a less discussed but no less serious hurdle — distance to the nearest hospital.

In instances of head trauma, lacerations, cardiac arrest, and child birth, every minute counts, and transit time to the hospital can mean the difference between life and death. Currently, more than 2 million Americans live in towns and cities located more than 20 miles from the nearest hospital.

Remote rural towns are often those farthest from a hospital, and many hospitals that serve rural areas are struggling financially. Over the last eight years, 87 rural hospitals have shut down nationwide — and hundreds more could be closed in the near future due to budgetary concerns.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, travel distance to hospitals is one of many factors in rural communities that can increase the risk of premature death.

By reviewing 15,000 towns and cities nationwide, and measuring the distance from their geographic center to the nearest acute care facility, 24/7 Wall St. identified the city or town in every state located farthest from a hospital. We considered all areas, including boroughs, census designated places, cities, towns, and villages.

The distances to the nearest hospital in the cities and town on this list range from 471 miles for Unalaska, Alaska, residents to just 12 miles for Hope Valley, Rhode Island, residents. In some cases, the nearest hospital is in a different state.

It is important to note that distances represent a straight line from the center of the town to the nearest hospital. As such, actual travel distance by roadway will be even greater in every case.

Click here to see the towns in every state where you may not get to the hospital in time.
Click here to see our detailed findings and methodology.

Source: bionicteaching / Flickr

Alabama: Bridgeport
> Nearest hospital: Erlanger Medical Center (25.5 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 16.0%
> Residents 65 and older: 14.1%
> Total population: 2,525

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Source: RUBEN RAMOS / Getty Images

Alaska: Unalaska
> Nearest hospital: Kanakanak Hospital (470.5 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: N/A
> Residents 65 and older: 0.0%
> Total population: 4,710

Source: Lisay / Getty Images

Arizona: Ajo
> Nearest hospital: Sells hospital (67.3 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: N/A
> Residents 65 and older: N/A
> Total population: 3,696

Source: Brandonrush / Wikimedia Commons

Arkansas: Mount Ida
> Nearest hospital: CHI St. Vincent – Hot Springs (32.6 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 15.5%
> Residents 65 and older: 26.9%
> Total population: 1,218

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Source: craigdietrich / Flickr

California: Boron
> Nearest hospital: Antelope Valley Hospital (36.0 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 30.5%
> Residents 65 and older: 1.4%
> Total population: 2,314

Source: kenlund / Flickr

Colorado: Mountain Village
> Nearest hospital: Montrose Memorial Hospital (37.8 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 2.3%
> Residents 65 and older: 1.7%
> Total population: 1,546

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Source: Doug Kerr from Albany, NY, United States / Wikimedia Commons

Connecticut: Deep River Center
> Nearest hospital: Middlesex Hospital (16.1 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 6.8%
> Residents 65 and older: 17.6%
> Total population: 2,321

Source: Dough4872 / Wikimedia Commons

Delaware: Townsend
> Nearest hospital: Union Hospital of Cecil County (16.4 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 4.0%
> Residents 65 and older: 5.5%
> Total population: 2,320

Source: 46866823@N04 / Flickr

Florida: Cross City
> Nearest hospital: North Florida Regional Medical Center (42.8 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 7.6%
> Residents 65 and older: 59.3%
> Total population: 2,148

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Source: Michael Rivera / Wikimedia Commons

Georgia: Homeland
> Nearest hospital: Southeast Georgia Health System Camden Campus (24.7 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 15.3%
> Residents 65 and older: 20.3%
> Total population: 1,082

Source: comosaydice / Getty Images

Hawaii: Hana
> Nearest hospital: Kula Hospital (22.9 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 14.4%
> Residents 65 and older: 16.3%
> Total population: 1,121

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Source: DaleBaxter / Getty Images

Idaho: Ashton
> Nearest hospital: Madison Memorial Hospital (23.5 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 13.3%
> Residents 65 and older: 34.8%
> Total population: 1,041

Source: hickoryhardscrabble / Flickr

Illinois: Cairo
> Nearest hospital: Missouri Delta Medical Center (23.6 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 12.8%
> Residents 65 and older: 18.4%
> Total population: 2,559

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Indiana: Fowler
> Nearest hospital: Hoopeston Community Memorial Hospital (21.0 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 11.6%
> Residents 65 and older: 29.0%
> Total population: 2,279

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Source: fayncbikerjaa / Flickr

Iowa: Tipton
> Nearest hospital: Mercy Hospital (21.9 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 8.5%
> Residents 65 and older: 15.4%
> Total population: 3,201

Source: BOB WESTON / Getty Images

Kansas: Burlington
> Nearest hospital: Allen County Regional Hospital (25.6 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 1.6%
> Residents 65 and older: 30.2%
> Total population: 2,611

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Source: Nyttend / Wikimedia Commons

Kentucky: Vanceburg
> Nearest hospital: King’s Daughters Medical Center Ohio (20.6 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 10.0%
> Residents 65 and older: 11.9%
> Total population: 1,442

Source: bdearth / Flickr

Louisiana: Buras
> Nearest hospital: Lady of the Sea General Hospital (47.9 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 32.2%
> Residents 65 and older: 18.7%
> Total population: 1,003

Source: dougtone / Flickr

Maine: Eastport
> Nearest hospital: Calais Regional Hospital (21.9 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 7.0%
> Residents 65 and older: 35.9%
> Total population: 1,390

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Source: dougtone / Flickr

Maryland: Greensboro
> Nearest hospital: Bayhealth Hospital, Kent Campus (19.5 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 13.3%
> Residents 65 and older: 67.3%
> Total population: 1,940

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

Massachusetts: Provincetown
> Nearest hospital: Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital – plymouth (24.7 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 5.7%
> Residents 65 and older: 30.0%
> Total population: 2,680

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Source: Andreas Faessler / Wikimedia Commons

Michigan: Rogers City
> Nearest hospital: Midmichigan Medical Center – alpena (29.4 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 10.3%
> Residents 65 and older: 46.2%
> Total population: 2,735

Source: Jacob Boomsma / Getty Images

Minnesota: Silver Bay
> Nearest hospital: Lake View Memorial Hospital (25.8 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 65.0%
> Residents 65 and older: 0.0%
> Total population: 1,708

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

Mississippi: Tunica
> Nearest hospital: North Oak Regional Medical Center (24.5 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 10.6%
> Residents 65 and older: 8.4%
> Total population: 1,249

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Source: TimothyMN / Wikimedia Commons

Missouri: Mansfield
> Nearest hospital: Texas County Memorial Hospital (36.6 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 15.4%
> Residents 65 and older: 17.6%
> Total population: 1,270

Source: Courtesy of the JVC Northwest

Montana: Ashland
> Nearest hospital: Rosebud Health Care Center (49.9 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 48.3%
> Residents 65 and older: 20.7%
> Total population: 1,009

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Nebraska: Ravenna
> Nearest hospital: CHI Health Good Samaritan (24.2 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 8.3%
> Residents 65 and older: 45.4%
> Total population: 1,514

Source: jmoor17 / Getty Images

Nevada: West Wendover
> Nearest hospital: Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital (86.6 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 0.0%
> Residents 65 and older: 57.3%
> Total population: 4,390

Source: dougtone / Flickr

New Hampshire: Hillsborough
> Nearest hospital: Monadnock Community Hospital (15.5 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 12.3%
> Residents 65 and older: 15.5%
> Total population: 2,037

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Source: Dan Jeffrey / Flickr

New Jersey: Elwood
> Nearest hospital: Shore Medical Center (19.0 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 17.3%
> Residents 65 and older: 14.9%
> Total population: 1,440

Source: railfan 44 / Wikimedia Commons

New Mexico: Mountainair
> Nearest hospital: UNM Hospital (44.6 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 3.3%
> Residents 65 and older: 24.8%
> Total population: 1,073

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Source: Meinzahn / Getty Images

New York: Montauk
> Nearest hospital: Lawrence & Memorial Hospital (21.7 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 8.4%
> Residents 65 and older: 37.3%
> Total population: 3,510

Source: kenlund / Flickr

North Carolina: Buxton
> Nearest hospital: The Outer Banks Hospital (47.1 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 25.4%
> Residents 65 and older: 15.6%
> Total population: 1,184

Source: afiler / Flickr

North Dakota: Parshall
> Nearest hospital: Mountrail County Medical Center (27.1 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 4.5%
> Residents 65 and older: 25.0%
> Total population: 1,125

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Source: Tim Kiser / Wikimedia Commons

Ohio: McConnelsville
> Nearest hospital: Genesis Hospital (23.7 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 8.0%
> Residents 65 and older: 8.1%
> Total population: 1,899

Source: bobtheberto / Flickr

Oklahoma: Eufaula
> Nearest hospital: Haskell County Community Hospital (25.9 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 34.9%
> Residents 65 and older: 44.4%
> Total population: 2,929

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Source: discoveroregon / Flickr

Oregon: Oakridge
> Nearest hospital: Peacehealth Cottage Grove Community Medical Center (29.0 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 23.7%
> Residents 65 and older: 0.0%
> Total population: 3,202

Source: holytrinitysc / Flickr

Pennsylvania: Beavertown
> Nearest hospital: Evangelical Community Hospital (21.6 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 9.4%
> Residents 65 and older: 24.0%
> Total population: 1,039

Source: John Phelan / Wikimedia Commons

Rhode Island: Hope Valley
> Nearest hospital: Westerly Hospital (11.9 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 0.8%
> Residents 65 and older: 22.8%
> Total population: 1,788

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Source: joeshlabotnik / Flickr

South Carolina: Holly Hill
> Nearest hospital: Mcleod Health Clarendon (27.6 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 13.7%
> Residents 65 and older: 19.1%
> Total population: 1,725

Source: Courtesy of Red Cloud Indian School

South Dakota: Porcupine
> Nearest hospital: Bennett County Hospital and Nursing Home (31.4 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 10.3%
> Residents 65 and older: 16.1%
> Total population: 1,295

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Tennessee: South Pittsburg
> Nearest hospital: Southern Tennessee Regional Health System Winchester (23.9 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 11.7%
> Residents 65 and older: 25.0%
> Total population: 3,092

Source: Loneburro / Getty Images

Texas: Presidio
> Nearest hospital: Big Bend Regional Medical Center (70.5 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 22.5%
> Residents 65 and older: 44.9%
> Total population: 4,051

Source: Boogich / Getty Images

Utah: Wendover
> Nearest hospital: Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital (89.5 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 32.1%
> Residents 65 and older: 4.8%
> Total population: 1,385

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Source: dougtone / Flickr

Vermont: Richford
> Nearest hospital: North Country Hospital and Health Center (22.8 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 0.0%
> Residents 65 and older: 45.1%
> Total population: 1,397

Source: EJ-J / Getty Images

Virginia: Chincoteague
> Nearest hospital: Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital (27.1 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 11.3%
> Residents 65 and older: 48.9%
> Total population: 2,919

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Source: Pierdelune / Getty Images

Washington: Point Roberts
> Nearest hospital: St. Joseph Medical Center (30.4 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 35.5%
> Residents 65 and older: 0.0%
> Total population: 1,203

Source: JERRYE AND ROY KLOTZ MD / Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia: West Union
> Nearest hospital: Sistersville General Hospital (21.9 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 0.0%
> Residents 65 and older: 47.8%
> Total population: 1,018

Source: royal_broil / Flickr

Wisconsin: Crandon
> Nearest hospital: Ascension St. Mary’s Hospital (23.6 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: 18.3%
> Residents 65 and older: 23.1%
> Total population: 1,851

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Source: MR. Pockets / Wikimedia Commons

Wyoming: Pinedale
> Nearest hospital: Star Valley Medical center (54.7 miles from town center)
> Uninsured rate: N/A
> Residents 65 and older:N/A
> Total population: 2,044

Detailed Findings

Access to emergency medical facilities is remarkably better in some regions than in others. For example, there are no cities or towns of 1,000 people or more in the Midwest that are more than 37 miles from a hospital. In the Northeast, no towns are more than 25 miles from a hospital.

Meanwhile, in the South, several towns are more than 40 miles from a hospital and one is over 70 miles from the nearest hospital. Similarly, a number of western states have towns over 50 miles from a hospital. There are eight towns in Alaska where the nearest hospital is anywhere from 100 to 470 miles away.

Landmass and population density largely explain the regional disparity, as northeastern states, where distances to the nearest hospital are the shortest, tend to be smaller by landmass than those in the West, where distances can be much larger.

Not only are residents of the towns on this list at risk due to being far from a hospital, but often a larger share of their population is more likely to need urgent medical care. For example, older Americans are at increased risk of chronic and potentially deadly diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. The vast majority of cities and towns on this list are home to a larger share of residents 65 or older than the 15.2% national share.

Additionally, residents of the towns on this list are less likely to be able to afford necessary medical treatment than the typical American as most have a higher uninsured rate than the U.S. rate as a whole.

Methodology

To identify the town farthest from a hospital in every state, 24/7 Wall St. looked at the 15,000 cities, towns, boroughs, villages, and census designated places with more than 1,000 people from the U.S. Census Bureau. We measured the distance in a straight line from the latitudinal and longitudinal geographic center of each place to the coordinates of the nearest hospital, including those in other states.

Uninsured rates and the share of the population age 65 and older are five-year estimates from the Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey.