How do we ensure access to affordable, quality healthcare for our rural residents? How do we select Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement approaches that help rural healthcare facilities keep their doors open? How can we attract healthcare providers to rural communities?
Rural health policy is the set of principles and plans of action our government and organizations use to address these and other rural health issues.
Rural health policy takes place at the federal, state and local levels of government. Many people and organizations are involved in the formulation of rural health policy.
These groups work to identify potential improvements to the provision and availability of healthcare services in rural communities through the implementation of health policy that addresses the specific needs and concerns facing rural areas.
Health policy issues with particular interest for rural stakeholders include:
- Availability and financial stability of rural healthcare facilities, such as critical access hospitals, Federally-qualified health centers, and rural health clinics
- Healthcare workforce
- Health information technology
- Adequate Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement for rural areas
- Rural healthcare quality
- Rural public health
- Emergency medical services