Missouri hospitals have eliminated about 1,000 positions and put a hiring freeze on more than 2,100 vacant positions in the past six months.

The Missouri Hospital Association released the figures Wednesday as part of its push to get the state Legislature to expand Medicaid coverage for thousands of lower-income adults.

States that expand Medicaid eligibility can receive billions of additional federal dollars. The hospital association says that money is needed to offset other federal funding cuts and the costs of treating the uninsured.

The eliminated or frozen positions amount to about 2.5 percent of the roughly 126,000 full-time-equivalent hospital jobs in Missouri.

The hospital association says its survey also found that 37 hospitals are delaying or canceling capital improvement projects totaling more than $100 million.