Now, under the proposed plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, rural hospitals could be further hampered in an already difficult economic climate.
The University of New Mexico’s ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) telemedicine program will become the national model for promoting healthcare in under-served and rural communities.
In rural areas, up to 7 percent are homeless, but not all are counted. In January each year nationwide, an official point-in-time count records a 24-hour tally of a community’s homeless population on the streets or in shelters.
Rural residents tend to be older, sicker and poorer than city dwellers, according to Diane Calmus government affairs and policy manager at the National Rural Health Association (NRHA). However, since 2010, the number of rural hospitals has markedly decreased, and in more recent years, continues to see a steady decline in services.
Some Montana Native American tribal members say they are surprised they will have to abide by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – and could face fines exceeding $1 million for not offering insurance to employees – although American Indians, by law, are typically exempt from such national regulations.