Some rural hospitals are in such bad shape, they're selling for next to nothing. One company is snapping several distressed or closed hospitals in rural Tennessee, hoping to turn a profit.
rural health care
The virus hit Whidbey Island early in 2020, and photojournalist Lynn Johnson was there. A million deaths later, we return to see how the pandemic has subtly but indelibly altered life there forever.
As maternity wards continue to close across the U.S., demand for midwives has grown, especially in rural areas. But hospitals and health care providers have raised concerns about licensing and safety.
When cancer survivor Katie Ripley got pneumonia, the 25-bed hospital in her small town didn't have the specialized care she needed. But with omicron surging, there was no ICU bed to transfer her to.
Salem Health in Oregon is a major hospital, but the omicron onslaught has strained the staff like never before. Still, they show up. For the patients, and for each other. And some see signs of hope.
State rules were temporarily loosened in 2020 to help patients get care outside a doctor's office. But is telehealth by phone safe and effective? State legislatures and insurers must soon decide.
In rural areas, hospitals and clinics are worried they'll be left short if staff quit rather than get COVID-19 vaccines required by the Biden administration's new mandate.
To keep emergency services afloat in rural areas, communities will have to go beyond volunteer-based programs to get people to distant hospitals, experts say. Meanwhile, some 911 calls go unanswered.
One in four rural households report being unable to get medical care for serious problems, due to the pandemic, according to a new poll from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Harvard.