Anywhere from 15 to 20 percent of the U.S. population lives in rural areas. According to the United States Census Bureau, nearly half of those living in rural areas are living in the South. In comparison to urban populations, residents in rural areas typically experience worse health outcomes overall. Contributing to these outcomes are a fewer number of healthcare providers and longer travel times to receive healthcare services.
The closure of rural hospitals has been well documented. Since January 2005, 182 rural hospitals have closed, including 99 complete closures (facility no longer provides healthcare services) and 83 converted closures (facility no longer provides inpatient care, but continues to provide some healthcare services). Rural hospitals face the prospect of low inpatient volumes, with a continuing need for emergency and other outpatient services.
Recent legislative efforts have focused on addressing, to the extent possible, gaps in rural healthcare. Because resources are scarce, community health needs must be accurately assessed, and services should be ‘right-sized’ with efficient use of available resources to meet overall community need. There is no one size fits all, nationwide solution; however, Advis discusses some potential options.
Our latest Advis whitepaper discusses healthcare challenges facing residents in rural areas and potential opportunities for the continually evolving landscape of rural healthcare.
The team at Advis can help you or your organization navigate the intricacies of Rural Health Strategies. For assistance, please contact Advis through our website, or by calling (708) 478-7030.
Published: September 14, 2022