Rural Access to Healthcare
Unique Demographics of those living in Rural Areas:
According to a recent study finds that Rural areas cover 97% percent of the nation’s land mass but only 19.3% percent of the population–about 60 million people. This means that 77% of the population lives in 3% of the land mass!
The adults in rural areas are older than their urban counterparts. Adults in rural areas have a median age of 51, compared with adults in urban areas with a median age of 45. About 13.4 million children under the age of 18 lived in the rural areas of the nation. Children living in rural areas are uninsured at higher rates than those living in urban areas–7.3% percent with 6.3% percent. Among rural areas, poverty rates rise to an astonish 21.9% percent in New Mexico!
Access to healthcare facilities in this country must increase and the trend of rural hospitals closing must be stopped.
Why are Rural Hospitals Closing?
Rural hospitals are actually closing at an accelerated rate! Over the past ten years, over 100 rural hospitals have closed their doors and approximately 1 in 3 rural hospitals have been identified as “at risk” of closing their doors.
Impact on the Poor and Elderly
Rural hospitals are often the only health care available in rural counties, and those most affected by hospital closing tend to be poor, minorities and elderly patients with chronic health conditions. This group suffers many health disparities.
That includes higher rates of diabetes, higher rates of child mortality, fewer years of life, and loss of years of productive life,” Michael Topchik, the national leader for the Chartis Center for Rural Health.
In rural areas there are is not public transportation that can easily be used to visit the hospital.
Why are rural hospitals closing?
As with most complex issues there are multiple factors that play into these hospital closures. Insufficient patient populations; high rates of uninsured patients; dwindling cash flow; and physician shortages.
PCI Construction Management has an extensive history of working with rural healthcare facilities and so we are aware of the unique challeneges they are faced with and the best methods for overcoming them. If your organization has questions about how you can imporove your systems then call Clint Dunaway at 480-415-0982 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.