The Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health held a hearing on May 17 entitled “Improving Health Care Access in Rural Communities: Obstacles and Opportunities.” The intent of the hearing was to illustrate some of the challenges facing rural communities as well as discuss potential solutions. Witnesses for the hearing included health care leaders from rural communities.
Throughout the hearing, witnesses highlighted the myriad challenges that rural providers face, including staffing issues, patient distance from care, and financial challenges. Also of interest to the witnesses and committee members alike was the proposition for value-based care to improve patient outcomes and lower costs of care in rural settings. Witnesses also discussed other innovative models of care including utilizing telehealth and bringing care directly to patients.