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Healthcare Access in Rural Communities News

News stories from the past 60 days.

Maintaining Maternity Care Vital to Rural Hospital Stability
Feb 13, 2019 - Details a breakout session from the National Rural Health Association's (NRHA) Rural Health Policy Institute on rural maternity care. Since 2011, 134 rural hospitals have closed obstetric services and 18 hospitals offering obstetric services have closed.
Source: American Academy of Family Physicians
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Many Rural Americans Have No Access to Buprenorphine
Feb 11, 2019 - Discusses rural residents' lack of access to buprenorphine compared to their urban counterparts. This is part of a larger problem of limited access to opioid treatment programs, especially in rural areas. But, there have been efforts to improve access by expanding the number of providers who can prescribe buprenorphine and the use of telemedicine.
Source: Filter Magazine
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Remarks to the National Rural Health Association
Feb 5, 2019 - Prepared remarks from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar at the February 2019 National Rural Health Association Policy Institute. Highlights challenges to providing healthcare in rural and tribal areas and steps the department is taking to address them.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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AHA Report Outlines Challenges Affecting Rural Communities, Opportunities to Ensure Access to High-Quality, Affordable Care
Feb 4, 2019 - Announces a new report from the American Hospital Association (AHA) detailing challenges that threaten rural hospitals and their economic viability. The report, Challenges Facing Rural Communities and the Roadmap to Ensure Local Access to High-Quality, Affordable Care, touches on low patient volume, geographic isolation, economic fluctuations, regulatory burdens, and the opioid epidemic.
Source: American Hospital Association
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Tackling the Opioid Crisis: What State Strategies Are Working?
Feb 4, 2019 - Officials from the National Academy for State Healthy Policy (NASHP) met with policymakers from several states to talk about challenges and promising strategies related to the opioid epidemic. NASHP identified strategies from the field that are showing results, including prescription tracking, medication-assisted treatment, harm reduction, ensuring access in rural areas, working with correctional facilities, and expanding Medicaid.
Source: National Academy for State Healthy Policy
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Rural Areas Nationwide Are Losing Prenatal and Labor and Delivery Services, and Minnesota Is Part of That Trend
Jan 28, 2019 - Radio interview with Katy Kozhimannil, Director of the University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center and an associate professor at the university's School of Public Health, John S. Cullen, President of the American Academy of Family Physicians and a family physician in Valdez, Alaska, and Catharine Richert, an MPR News reporter who covers health stories. Discussion focuses on rural areas losing prenatal care as well as labor and delivery services across the country, with a particular focus on Minnesota.
Source: MPR News
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In Rural America, There Are Few People Left to Drive the Ambulances
Jan 15, 2019 - Discusses rural emergency medical services (EMS) and the difficulty many rural communities face in funding their EMS programs or recruiting enough volunteers to keep them functional. Part of this is due to an aging and shrinking population, meaning fewer volunteers and less tax revenue. Also touches on ways federal and state governments could support these local programs and help them remain viable.
Source: The New Yorker
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Rural Hospital Travel Times Increase, Hamper Patient Care Access
Dec 28, 2018 - Discusses a study from the Pew Research Center that looked at average travel times to the nearest hospital for people living in different areas of the country. On average, rural residents are 17 miles from a hospital, while urban residents are 10 minutes away and suburban residents are 12 minutes away. Also touches on high rates of adverse social determinants of health and chronic illness in rural areas, as well as on rural hospital closures.
Source: Patient Engagement HIT
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Up to $120K in Loan Repayment for Graduating Medical and Dental Students
Dec 19, 2018 - Announces that the deadline for the 2019 National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Students to Service Loan Repayment Program has been extended to December 27, 2018. This program provides up to $120,000 to medical or dental students in their final year of school in return for working at an approved NHSC site in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA).
Source: Health Resources and Services Administration, National Health Service Corps
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For Rural Americans, Healthcare and Hospitals Can Be Far Away
Dec 17, 2018 - Details results from a new study looking at the distance, travel time, and type of nearest hospital for more than 10,000 U.S. adults. Rural residents were more likely to say access to good doctors and hospitals is a major problem and tended to have longer average travel times to the nearest hospital. Also breaks down travel times by region and touches on rural hospital closures.
Source: City Lab
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Rural Health Care Blueprints
Dec 17, 2018 - Details a report released from by the A&M Rural and Community Health Institute outlining some potential options for rural communities in Texas and across the country to be able to move forward when facing or in the aftermath of a hospital closure.
Source: Vital Record
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Last Updated: 2/14/2019