Transportation and Internet Barriers Limit Rural Access to Home Health

Posted on Friday, May 3, 2019 8:13 PM

According to a new study published in the Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, patients in rural parts of America have a hard time accessing home health care and home and community-based services (HCBS). 

HCBS would be cost effective for Medicaid agencies, but the difficulty in reaching patients and the lack of reliable internet prevent many from these services.

While telehealth might seem the perfect antidote to travel difficulties, study participants noted that limited access to high speed internet and general technological illiteracy are complicating factors among a rural population that tends to be significantly older than urban and suburban populations.

The study found that patients in rural areas often turn to informal caregiving from family, friends, and neighbors, rather than home health providers. Sometimes this is due to cultural preferences, but sometimes it is due to the problems, noted above, that HCBS faces in rural communities.”

Source: NAHC

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