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Celebrating Pennsylvania’s Rural Hospitals on Rural Health Day

Rural Health Day celebrates ‘Power of Rural’ across the U.S.

November 18, 2021

On National Rural Health Day, HAP celebrates Pennsylvania’s rural hospitals for the outstanding care they provide within their communities.

The 11th annual Rural Health Day highlights the “Power of Rural” health care providers and the critical role they play across the nation. These facilities serve as anchors within their regions, ensuring patients have access to quality care through their inpatient and outpatient services, and through innovative approaches such as telehealth. They also care for a patient population that is older, has more chronic conditions and health disparities, and would otherwise struggle to access care.

As we celebrate Rural Health Day, here are four facts about rural health from the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health:

  • Spread out:  More than 57 million Americans live and work in rural communities. These residents live on land covering about 72 percent of America, but make up only 19 percent of the population
  • By the numbers:  More than 1,300 critical access hospitals and 300 rural prospective payment systems hospitals support rural health across the nation
  • Workforce challenges:  About 68 percent of health professional shortage areas are in rural or frontier communities
  • Training:  Graduates of osteopathic medical schools with a rural mission are more likely to choose rural primacy care practice

HAP is committed to helping Pennsylvania’s rural hospitals address the financial challenges threatening their ability to deliver outstanding care. Launched during 2019, Pennsylvania’s Rural Health Model aims to deliver a sustainable model of care, ensuring rural hospitals can count on stable revenue sources.

The program also encourages hospitals to transform care—with a focus on telehealth and other preventive services that may reduce the need for more expensive acute care. Eighteen Pennsylvania hospitals are currently participating.

HAP has been a champion of Pennsylvania’s Rural Health Model and applauds our rural hospitals for their outstanding commitment to their communities through:

  • Increased access to primary care and specialty services
  • A focus on reducing rural health disparities through improved screenings and chronic disease management
  • Prioritizing treatment for substance use disorder by making treatment for behavioral health more accessible

HAP celebrates our rural hospitals for their exemplary care and continues to advocate for state and federal resources that will preserve rural health care across the commonwealth.

For additional information about Rural Health Day or Pennsylvania’s Rural Health Model, contact Kate Slatt, HAP’s vice president, innovative payment and care delivery.