Bruce P. Mehlman
The Internet Innovation Alliance is a broad-based coalition of business and non-profit organizations that aim to ensure every American, regardless of race, income or geography, has access to the critical tool that is broadband Internet. The IIA seeks to promote public policies that support equal opportunity for universal broadband availability and adoption so that everyone, everywhere can seize the benefits of the Internet - from education to health care, employment to community building, civic engagement and beyond.
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Rural Hospitals Heavily Dependent on Public Health Care Programs
60 percent of rural hospitals’ revenue is derived from Medicare or Medicaid, compared to less than 40 percent for most urban hospitals. Roughly 45 percent of rural hospitals’ revenue comes from Medicare.
Despite Being Home to One-Third of Nation’s Hospitals, Rural America Represents Small Portion of Hospital Spending
Rural America is home to over one-third of the nation’s hospitals – about 2,000 facilities – but they represent only about 12 percent of national hospital spending, in part because they are smaller facilities on average.
Despite High Demand for Emergency Medical Services, Rural Areas Have Fewer EMS Professional Personnel
Only 20 percent of EMS personnel in rural communities are professional staff; 80 percent are volunteers.
60 Percent of Rural Areas Face Shortage in Mental Health Professionals
About 60 percent of all areas designated by the federal government as mental shortage areas are located in non-metropolitan areas. Though rural primary care physicians commonly provide mental health services, rural residents are less likely to be seen by a mental health professional, taking part in only about 60 percent of the mental health visits reported by urban residents.
Rural Residents Must Travel Average of 60 Miles for Specialty Care
Rural consumers report an average distance of about 60 miles between their local primary care physicians’s office and a specialist’s office.
Only 8 Percent of Surgeons Practice in Rural Areas
Specialists represent 44 percent of providers in urban areas and 31 percent of rural providers. Put another way, roughly 11 percent of general and family medicine physicians and only about 8 percent of surgeons practice in rural areas.
In Rural Areas, Average Distance to Pharmacies 10 Miles
In about 1,000 rural communities, the distance between pharmacies is greater than 10 miles.
Number of Physicians per Person in Rural Areas Much Lower than Urban Areas
In urban areas, the ratio of primary care physicians to 100,000 people is 105 on average, while in rural areas that rate is about 65 per 100,000. Physicians that do practice in rural areas tend to be located in counties near urban areas or concentrated in small rural population centers.
Rural Residents More Likely to be Uninsured than Urban Residents
20 percent of rural residents under age 65 are uninsured, compared to 18 percent in urban areas. In some remote rural areas, the number of non-elderly uninsured is 27 percent.
More Rural Residents on Medicare and/or Medicaid than Urban Residents
In rural areas, 31 percent of the population has either Medicare or Medicaid as their primary source of coverage; in urban areas, that figure is just 25 percent. The rural-urban difference is greatest in the South and West with those areas having even higher rates of public coverage.