In 2017, the Bipartisan Policy Center and the Center for Outcomes Research and Education (CORE) spoke with over 90 national thought leaders and stakeholders about the current state of rural health care in the Upper Midwest region, including Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. BPC and CORE used these discussions to determine the real-world implications of existing federal policies, understand ongoing care challenges, and identify opportunities for improvement in rural health care access and delivery. A new paper reports these findings, highlighting key takeaways from the roundtables and interviews and identifying four specific areas for developing recommendations:
- Rightsizing Health Care Services to Fit Community Needs: Not every rural community needs to have a Critical Access Hospital; communities should tailor available services to the needs of the community, which for many rural areas are driven by changing demographics.
- Creating Rural Funding Mechanisms: Once the right system and services have been identified for a community, funding mechanisms and payment models should reflect the specific challenges that rural areas face-such as small population.
- Building and Supporting the Primary Care Physician Workforce: With the appropriate services and funding, rural communities can build sustainable and diverse workforces.
- Expanding Telemedicine Services: Health professionals working in rural areas need the right tools for success.
To read the full report, please click here.