Rural Americans Get Lower Quality Health Care, Says Report
A recent report says people in rural America get lower quality health care compared to their urban and suburban counterparts. Rural Americans suffer higher rates of cancer, heart problems and diabetes, but they receive health care of lower quality. This startling news was revealed by a report published by the UnitedHealth Center for Health & Reform Modernization.
To bridge the gap in health care, legislators urge the use of technology such as telemedicine, which is the use of broadband Internet, to improve communication between health care providers and patients. They say this an efficient and cheaper method to provide quality health care to rural areas.
The study also reveals that there are less number of doctors to treat rural patients. In rural America there are 65 doctors per 100,000 people, compared to 105 per 100,000 residents in suburban and urban America.
In fact about five million people in rural areas have only 33 physicians per 100,000 people. This situation is expected to worsen in the future.
But on the bright side, rural doctors are more likely to agree to treating new Medicaid patients compared to urban doctors. The report recommends the use of new technology, mobile clinics and nurse practitioners to boost rural health care.