Physician Staffing Blog

Healthcare News and Trends

A Salute to Rural Healthcare Providers on National Rural Health Day

November 19, 2019

A Salute to Rural Healthcare Providers

By Phillip Miller


The challenges facing rural healthcare providers are well known but are worth repeating. While 62 million Americans live in rural areas (about 20% of all Americans) only nine percent of physicians live in rural communities. Of the close to 7,000 federally designated Healthcare Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) in the U.S., about 68% are in rural areas.


In addition to staffing shortages, rural healthcare providers have to contend with numerous other challenges, including a higher incidence of the social determinants that lead to poor health. Approximately 15.4% of rural U.S. residents live in poverty compared to 12% of urban residents, which drives higher rates of morbidity and lower life expectancy among the rural population.


Fortunately, what helps hold many rural communities together today is the presence of dedicated physicians, advanced practitioners, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), critical access hospitals, and other healthcare facilities and providers. In addition to providing critically needed care, rural facilities and providers are the economic backbones of their service areas. Every dollar spent on rural hospitals generates about $2.20 for the local economy, while, on average, each office-based physician contributes about $3 million to local economic development, according to the American Medical Association.


Merritt Hawkins is proud to have partnered with rural hospitals and FQHCs for over 32 years. A member of the AMN Healthcare family of companies, we are part of the organization sponsoring the national Country Doctor of the Year Award and we are the preferred permanent physician staffing company of the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) Value in Staffing Program. We have placed thousands of physicians in rural areas nationwide and continue to work in small towns across America.


Based on our three-plus decades of recruiting to rural areas, we have completed a white paper entitled Rural Physician Recruiting Challenges and Solutions that you can find here. The white paper examines a series of steps rural hospitals, FQHCs, and medical groups can take to enhance their physician and advanced practitioner recruiting success.


On behalf of Merritt Hawkins, I would like to take the occasion of National Rural Health Day to commend all those health professionals who bring compassion and quality care to America’s rural communities. Thank you for all you do!




Phillip Miller is Vice President of Communications for Merritt Hawkins and Staff Care, companies of AMN Healthcare. He can be reached here.

 


The Poverty of Healthcare
Healthcare News and Trends

A Raised Hand: The Poverty of Healthcare



Which States Have Tort Reform: Where to Practice?
Healthcare News and Trends

Which States Have Tort Reform: Where to Practice?



The Rise of Virtual Reality in Healthcare
Healthcare News and Trends

The Rise of Virtual Reality in Healthcare


Newsletter

Get the best of Merritt Hawkins in your inbox
Loading...
Get these newsletter delivered to your inbox, and more info about our jobs and opportunities. Privacy Policy