Many people like living in a big city. They have access to mass transportation systems, more job opportunities, large hospitals and health systems and a vast number of restaurants and shopping and entertainment venues. Maybe that’s why almost 100 million Americans reside in the country’s urban core counties.
On the flip side, there are multiple benefits to living in a rural community: a stronger sense of community, less traffic and crime, easier access to outdoor recreation, better air quality and a quieter environment. Also, with remote employment on the rise, more rural residents can procure employment without the hassle of a long commute.
Unfortunately, there are negatives to living in the rural United States, including lack of high-quality healthcare services. Many residents must travel at least an hour to reach a specialist or more technologically-advanced hospital. Some can’t afford this travel, resulting in them receiving less preventive care.
According to the Rural Health Information Hub, hospitals serving rural areas face the following challenges:
- Rural residents are older, poorer and more likely to have chronic diseases than urban residents.
- Rural hospitals are typically smaller than urban hospitals.
- Rural hospitals provide a higher percentage of care in outpatient settings and are more likely to offer home health, skilled nursing and assisted living, all of which have lower Medicare margins than inpatient care.
- Rural hospitals rely more heavily on reimbursement from public programs, whose payments fall short of costs.
To overcome these obstacles, many healthcare providers located in rural communities employ technology. At RingRx, we designed our cloud communications platform to simplify and improve patient-staff communications for doctors, therapists and healthcare business associates in communities, including those in rural areas.
View our new white paper to find out we’re helping rural healthcare providers improve patient care while reducing costs.