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Improving Rural Health: State Policy Options

Kristine Goodwin and Laura Tobler 11/8/2013

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Health care in rural America presents challenges that states are addressing in a variety of ways. Many rural communities lack adequate access to primary and preventive services. More than three-quarters of the nation’s rural counties are designated as health professional shortage areas.

In addition to the scarcity of primary care providers and services in rural areas, the people who live there also lack access to mental health and other behavioral health services, long-term care options for seniors, emergency medical services, and other essential services.

To address the barriers that impede access in rural areas, states have adopted strategies to provide high-quality,  affordable and accessible primary care services to rural Americans.

This report provides an overview of state policies and investments in five key areas:

  1. Achieving Greater Access to Health Care Services and Overcoming Distance
  2. Health Workforce
  3. Long-Term Services and Supports
  4. Behavioral Health Capacity
  5. Prevention and Wellness

 

For the full report, please click here.

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