Rural communities face their own unique challenges when it comes to accessing and receiving quality health care.
Approximately 60 million Americans live in rural areas, with nearly every state having at least one rural county. Research has shown that rural Americans are disproportionately affected by certain health conditions compared to their urban counterparts due to factors such as:
- lack of access to quality health care
- increased likelihood of being uninsured or underinsured
- higher rates of poverty
- increased likelihood to live further away from health services
- lack of access to internet.
Moreover, with the current COVID-19 pandemic, rural populations have been disproportionately impacted by the virus due to issues with accessing quality care.
National Rural Health Day provides an opportunity for CMS OMH to recognize our partners who provide quality care to the nearly one in five Americans who reside in rural communities.
View the resources below to learn more about the unique health needs of patients in rural communities and to download resources you can include in your programs.
- Join the Rural Open Door Forum on Thursday, November 19.
- Review the 2020 update to the Rural-Urban Disparities in Health Care in Medicare Report which compares the quality of care given to urban and rural Medicare beneficiaries. The report shows how differences in quality vary according to race and ethnicity.
- CMS’s 2020 activities and accomplishments are outlined in the Rethinking Rural Health Annual Report to represent CMS’s commitment to the development and implementation of programs and policies through a rural lens.
- Download our Rural Crosswalk: CMS Flexibilities to Fight COVID-19 which examines the COVID-19 related provisions that CMS has issued that impact rural health care facilities and how these provision affect providers.
- Read our new Data Highlight: Understanding Rural Hospital Bypass Among Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) Beneficiaries in 2018 to learn more about where residents of rural communities are going to fulfill their health care needs.
- View our Community Health Access and Rural Transformation (CHART) Model through which CMS aims to address disparities by providing a way for rural communities to transform their health care delivery systems through financial arrangements along with operational and regulatory flexibilities. Watch and share the CHART Model Overview webinar.
- Visit our Rural Health webpage to learn more about our approach to rethinking rural health and download resources to help improve rural health care access.
- Visit the Rural and Maternal Health webpage to review resources related to improving maternal health outcomes in rural communities.
Contact RuralHealth@cms.hhs.gov for any questions or inquiries related to rural health policies and programs.