rural hospitals

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Another rural hospital has closed, this time in western Oklahoma, reports The Times Record. Sayre Memorial Hospital in Sayre, Oklahoma, abruptly shut its doors on Monday. The facility blamed “continual financial strain.” Oklahoma’s GOP leaders have refused to expand Medicaid, leading to a drop in income for many hospitals across the state.

Tom & Katrien / Creative Commons

Rural children are more likely to experience health problems based on their surroundings, according to The Rural Blog.  A new report from the Department of Health and Human Services details how rural children are more adversely affected by their environment, their socioeconomic status, their own and their families’ health behaviors, and their access to quality clinical care. For example, rural children are more likely to be obese and live with someone who smokes.

DennisSylvesterHurd / Flickr Creative Commons

A new report says rural health care providers should be required to participate in federal pay-for-performance programs, reports The Rural Blog. The study was requested by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Pay-for-performance plans reward healthcare providers for meeting certain measures for quality and efficiency. These programs penalize caregivers for poor outcomes, medical errors, or increased costs.

Kansas Hospitals Look to Improve Food Quality

Oct 13, 2015
Kansas Public Radio

Over the years, “hospital food” has come to be a synonym for tasteless glop. But now, a group of hospitals in Kansas--including some rural ones in the western part of the state--aim to change that perception, reports Kansas Public Radio. With their Healthy Food Initiative, Healthy Kansas Hospitals is hoping to make the food they serve patients and employees more healthy and delicious.

Mercy Hospital Independence

From the Kansas Health Institute:

Rep. Jim Kelly says closure should serve as warning to other communities

The scheduled closure of the hospital in the southeast Kansas community of Independence could create new urgency around the Medicaid expansion debate.

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.

Ohio Health Insuranc / flickr creative commons

A new study shows that rural Medicare patients are much less likely to receive follow-up care. They’re also more likely to end up in the emergency room, reports The Rural Blog. The study appeared in the September issue of the journal Medical Care. Researchers looked at the number of patients who had follow-up health care visits and emergency room visits within 30 days of hospitalization.

city-data.com

Although 25 percent of Americans live in rural areas, only 10 percent of doctors do.  Finding physicians willing to live on the prairie is a serious problem in Kansas.  Kearny County Hospital had that problem.  The small hospital is rural, very rural with five people per square mile, but the little hospital has found a solution according to a recent article by the Kansas Health Institute.

There are a number of factors making it hard for rural hospitals to make ends meet. Colorado Matters explores those issues, as well as the effects of sequestration and the Affordable Care Act. Listen to the podcast.