Rural Medical Deserts in America: I came across this today. My Rural Health Clinic colleagues understand this phenomenon well. My travels take me to these roads quite a bit. These are places that, to many, do not exist. This is our mission as Rural Health Clinics and FQHCs. On a side note, it is not often that I read the term “rural health clinic” in a national publication.
From the Article:
“In the medical desert that has become rural America, nothing is more basic or more essential than access to doctors, but they are increasingly difficult to find. The federal government now designates nearly 80 percent of rural America as “medically-underserved.” It is home to 20 percent of the U.S. population but fewer than 10 percent of its doctors, and that ratio is worsening each year because of what health experts refer to as “the gray wave.” Rural doctors are three years older than urban doctors on average, with half over 50 and more than a quarter beyond 60. Health officials predict the number of rural doctors will decline by 23 percent over the next decade as the number of urban doctors remains flat.”
“In Texas alone, 159 of the state’s 254 counties have no general surgeons, 121 counties have no medical specialists, and 35 counties have no doctors at all. Thirty more counties are each forced to rely on just a single doctor, like Garner, a family physician by training who by necessity has become so much else: medical director of Culberson County. Head physician for a nearby immigration detention center. Director of a rural health clinic. Chief of staff for Culberson Hospital. And medical director for the hospital’s emergency room, where the latest patient was being wheeled in as Garner introduced himself.”
This is what we do!
North American HMS has served parts of the country like Culberson County and Rural Health Clinics across the country since 1992. We are an active billing company and eMDs/Aprima VAR, so we deal with making sure your reimbursement and administrative issues are being dealt with. Let us know if we can help you out.
Best Regards –