Rural Health Issues

3214 Words 13 Pages
Rural areas face various obstacles in their health delivery systems. In some ways there are major differences between rural and urban health systems. Rural areas tend to have less practicing physicians with a shortage of specialists. Lower pay to primary care physicians is deterring many from choosing the field. Rural areas tend to be poorer and residents have a harder time obtaining health insurance coverage. Rural residents face various economic, social and cultural factors that influence how they receive health care. The Affordable Care Act provides a method to increase access to care through Medicaid expansion and tax credits; however, many of the rural residents that would benefit, live in states that declined to expand. Cost, access, …show more content…
A lack of preventative services is an example of this. The South Carolina Rural Health Research Center (2009) did a study on these disparities with preventative services. Rural minorities experience marked disparities in health and health care access (SC RHRC, 2009). These minorities are more likely to report poor health status, obesity, and limitations in activity. Rural adults; in general, are less likely to receive appropriate preventive services. Lack of access to primary care and being uninsured are some reasons for this (SC RHRC, 2009). This brief further discuss preventive services in physical exams for adults over the age of 40. Only 83.8% or rural residents were likely to have an exam by a physician. Among those without insurance only 59.3% received an exam. African Americans in rural areas were much more likely to have an exam than other rural residents. Hispanics and other ethnic groups had even lower rates. The study further states how rural residents also were less likely to receive other preventative services, such as mammography, pap tests, and colorectal cancer screenings. Ziller and Lenardson (2009) back these claims up and discuss a lack of preventive services as well. Although, there is a higher likelihood of having a primary care physician, rural adults tend to receive less preventative care services. Only 80% of rural adults under the age of 65 have had a physical exam in the past five years and 69% of rural adults report receiving a cholesterol check as compared with urban

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