Here’s an Op Ed, that ran in AHA’s weekly email. It struck close to home, after you read it you will understand why.
The Rural Challenge
We must ensure that health care is there for some 51 million Americans who live in rural communities. Small size, remote geographic location, a limited workforce, difficulties in attracting and retaining physicians and limited access to financial resources are only part of the problem. Their patient mix makes rural hospitals more reliant on Medicare and Medicaid – and more vulnerable to the constant uncertainty of governmental funding. And the regulatory burden hits rural hospitals especially hard. We were very pleased this week at the great turnout for a special AHA briefing for congressional staff members on Capitol Hill. We hope we can look forward to their support in facing these legislative and regulatory challenges. A new AHA task force will also be working to identify emerging strategies, delivery and payment models to maintain a health care presence in vulnerable communities, both rural and urban. Let’s make sure the care is there.