rural health

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In the past, HPPR has reported on the fact that rural America has been struggling to find enough doctors to serve its populace.

healthline

Rural living has long been thought to be healthy for the body and the soul. But a new article in Healthline disputes this notion, with an essay provocatively entitled, “If You Want to Die Young, Move to Rural America.”

The truth is, when it comes to the five leading causes of death, rural dwellers lag behind inhabitants of America’s cities.

Dodge City Medical Center (DCMC ) will join clinics in Garden City and Ulysses as a partner of Colorado-based Centura Health.

Flap / Flickr Creative Commons

As HPPR has reported in the past, rural hospitals in the U.S. have been struggling a great deal in recent years. Many of them have closed.

This phenomenon is part of a larger trend of younger people moving to the cities and leaving rural areas with little help.

Rural hospitals have been hit hardest in states that refused to expand Medicaid or accept federal funding. These states include Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas.

Khampha Bouaphanh / Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Rural Texas residents have struggled to find adequate healthcare for a long time. In the last three years alone, fifteen rural hospitals have closed in Texas.

In fact, the American College of Emergency Physicians has given the Lone Star State an F when it comes to providing emergency care access to small town residents.

Creative Commons

A task force formed to address rural health care problems recently determined that keys to Kansas’ future in that arena include expanding telemedicine and addressing workforce shortages.

www.pewtrusts.org

How healthy are people on the High Plains? According to a new study from the Pew Charitable Trusts, only two of the five states in the HPPR listening area rank among the top half of states when it comes to health.

ivn.us

Rural Americans continue to struggle to find adequate mental health care. That’s despite the fact that the Affordable Care Act guaranteed that mental and behavioral health treatment would be covered by all health insurance policies sold on the federal health exchange.

However, as IVN reports, psychological coverage does little good if you live in an area where no services are available.

Gallup/CDC / WaPo/Wonkblog

Almost half of overweight Americans don’t know they’re overweight, reports The Washington Post.

Rachel Aston / Las Vegas Review Journal

Over the past six years, 76 rural hospitals have closed in America. That’s one and a half per state. That’s left many rural residents without recourse if they’re injured or become seriously ill.

The Washington Post

Middle-aged white women—especially in rural areas—continue to die at a much faster rate than many other groups.

Rural Blog

More than 80 percent of rural counties without a city of 10,000 or more people—lack psychiatrists, according to a new study.

These counties are called “non-core counties,” and they are in dire need of mental health care. Non-core counties average less than four psychiatrists for every 100,000 people. Compare that with more 17 psychiatrists per 100,000 in metropolitan areas.

Rural Blog

When it comes to mental health and veterans, rural soldiers are less likely to receive help than their urban counterparts, reports The Rural Blog.

Clifton Adcock / Oklahoma Watch

In many rural areas, maintaining mental health can sometimes come down to finding a ride.

As Oklahoma Watch reports, Transportation is often a barrier for rural dwellers seeking mental health or substance abuse treatment.

Kansas Hospital Association

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s tax plan for hospitals has come under fire from a prominent member of the Kansas health community.

Rural Blog

Nearly half of the counties in the United States lack an obstetrician or gynecologist, reports The Rural Blog. Most of these counties are rural.

Lucas Jackson / Reuters

Colorado is rated as America’s leanest state. But that honor seems to stem from the health attitudes of some of the wealthier parts of the state. In towns like Pueblo, obesity is a real problem. Pueblo’s obesity rate reached 30% in 2014. That’s nine percent higher than the state average.

Pixabay / Creative Commons

A company that delivers blood and medicine using drone technology is looking to expand its operations across the US, reports Consumerist.com. This could be great news for many Americans who live in rural and hard-to-reach areas.

MPR

The risk of HIV outbreaks in rural and suburban communities has increased in recent years. The rise can be attributed to the prescription drug abuse epidemic in the US, reports EMPR.com. When rural residents are forced to share syringes, transmission of HIV increases rapidly.

bikeprairiespirit.com

Rural High Plains residents know the benefits of living in wide open spaces. But they’re also familiar with the drawbacks. One pitfall of rural living: It can be hard to access good places to exercise. Rural mothers rely on outdoor activities to promote health and well-being for their families, notes The Rural Blog. But they often struggle with the long distances they have to travel to find outdoor exercise resources.

insidehighered.com

The United States is facing an increasing doctor shortage in the near future. But rural medical schools may be the answer, reports InsideHigherEd.com. Over the next nine years, the country will be short as many as 95,000 doctors, the Association of American Medical Colleges predicts.

New hope for a struggling hospital in southwest Kansas

May 12, 2016
Bryan Thompson / KHI news service

From the Kansas Health Institute:

A southwest Kansas hospital on the verge of having to close its doors appears to have a new lease on life, thanks to a recent management contract with an Oklahoma company.

Center for Rural Affairs

In recent decades American life expectancies have been increasing. At least, that’s true for most of us. But for rural Americans, the story’s a bit different. According to The Center for Rural Affairs, new research shows a reversal of the life-expectancy trend for some Americans in out-of-the-way areas. If you’re rich, the data shows, it doesn’t matter where you live. But if you’re poor, where you live can determine how long you live.

Leong / Shutterstock

White women in rural America are having a hard go of it. A recent Washington Post article reported that, around 2000, the death rates for black Americans and Hispanics began to fall while the death rate for white Americans began to rise.

fda.gov

Many states have recently limited prescriptions for opioids, after an increase in overdose deaths has rocked rural America. But the new opioid limits are putting small town doctors in an unenviable position. Physicians must now refuse to prescribe painkillers to patients who actually need them, reports The Rural Blog.

Rural Blog

Struggling rural hospitals on the High Plains might be able to learn from a facility in Fredericksburg, Texas. The rural hospital there has gone in recent years from the brink of closing to become a thriving health center. In 2009, patient satisfaction and employee satisfaction were very low. Then the death of a 13-year-old at the hospital lead to systemic changes, reports The Rural Blog.

Concern Grows Over Uninsured Rates in Rural America

Sep 15, 2015
NEC Corporation of America / Creative Commons

The Institute of Medicine has grown increasingly concerned about the rate of uninsured rural Americans. Experts lament the growing threat uninsured Americans pose to the very fabric of America’s health care system.

2016 Presidential Race Lacks Rural Focus

Sep 11, 2015
Shawn Poynter

With all the hullabaloo surrounding the 2016 presidential race, The Daily Yonder wondered why so little was being said about rural issues. The blog noted that only Hillary Clinton has released any version of a rural platform. In the face of so much silence, the blog asked several prominent advocates for rural life what they believed to be important in the election.

Report: Potential Health Effects of Changes to the Kansas Corporate Farming Law

Apr 22, 2015
KHI News Service

Potential Health Effects of Changes to the Kansas Corporate Farming Law:  Impacts related to a possible increase in the number of large-scale swine and dairy operations 

Senate Bill 191 (and its House version, HB 2404) was proposed to amend the Kansas Corporate Farming Law. Among other provisions, the bill would have removed restrictions for agribusinesses with certain forms of ownership structure (e.g., corporation, trust) to operate in Kansas. Furthermore, the bill would have removed some requirements that farms be owned by families or that family members be active in the operation of the farms. This bill did not pass during the 2013 session, but the issue continues to be discussed and similar bills may be introduced in the future.

KU Medical Center recruiting the next generation of rural health workers

Nov 27, 2014
Andy Marso /KHI News Service

In the last two years Seth Nutt has traveled to nearly every corner of Kansas, introducing rural students to health care professionals.

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