Homework Question on Rural Healthcare in the Economic Downturn
- The customary view of poverty in association with healthcare focuses on ability to pay. However, financial difficulty in a region has compounded effects on utilization and demand that extend from provider supply to access to insurance.
- Read A Case Study of Rural Healthcare in the Economic Downturn http://www.shepscenter.unc.edu/rural/pubs/other/AsheProfile.pdf and reflect upon the issues identified in Ashe County.
- How do lack of access and depressed demand affect health outcomes in the long run?
- Reflecting on your own experience, what types of resources have you encountered or heard about that attempt to improve access to basic health services?
- Journal Rubric Overview: In this course, journal entries will be used for reflection. This is a private conversation between you and the instructor and thus you are encouraged to deeply explore the course concept presented. A course journal in Blackboard is generally made up of many individual entries.
Homework Answer on Rural Healthcare in the Economic Downturn
Lack of access and depressed demand affect health outcomes in the long run through various ways. Firstly, because of lack of access to insurance, low physician to population ratio, underfunding of the health facilities, poverty and unemployment, many people are unable to access preventive care (Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center, 2009). As a result, diseases that would have been managed at an early stage and at a lesser cost get worse.
Many of these patients seek care in the emergency rooms when their conditions have very much deteriorated. This in turn results in poor health outcomes in the long-term. For example, if cancer cases are not detected early, they may no longer be treatable in the long-term leading to poor health outcomes including deaths. The same applies to diseases, such as diabetes, mental illness, and stroke that may be difficult to control if patients skip screening because of lack of access and depressed demand occasioned by the cost implications. This in turn leads to poor health outcomes in the long run.
Numerous attempts have been made to improve access to basic health services. In the state of Louisiana, about 20 partners have come together to enhance access to health care. The collaboration comprises professional associations, foundations and county and state agencies. Louisiana Office of Rural Health was created to help rural community networks access health care services (Baldwin, MacLehouse, Hart, Beaver, Every & Chan, 2004).