This is the first HHS-wide assessment of rural healthcare efforts in more than 18 years.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released the rural action plan, the first department-wide assessment of rural healthcare efforts in 18 years.
According to a news release, the plan will serve as a roadmap for the department to strengthen coordination among departments in order to better serve rural communities across the country.
“Growing up in rural Maryland, I saw firsthand some of the challenges faced by rural healthcare providers and patients,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar says in the release.“Under President Trump, we have invested unprecedented time and resources transforming healthcare for the forgotten men and women of rural America. The Rural Action Plan identifies key, tangible areas where HHS agencies can soon make a real difference in the health outcomes of millions of Americans.”
The plan examines the key challenges facing rural communities related to issues like emerging health disparities, chronic disease burden, high rates of maternal mortality, and limited access to mental health services. It includes a four-point strategy to transform rural health and human services.
The first point of the plan is to build a sustainable health and human services model for rural communities. It includes actions such as:
The second is to leverage technology and innovation, and includes:
The third is to focus on preventing disease and mortality, and includes:
The final point is increasing rural access to care, and includes: