Responding To Access-To-Care Challenges: Ideas From A Rural Doctor, A Washington, D.C. HospitalEvansville (Ind.) Courier & Press reports on the struggles rural physicians face in providing care by focusing on Dr. Lloyd "Pat" McGinnis, a family medicine and geriatrics specialist who was "one of only five doctors in Spencer County, a rural area of Southwestern Indiana. Doctors throughout the country are struggling with the same issues of providing quality care to patients with limited incomes in an environment of uncertainly as major provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are phased in over the next five years. And while the true cost and ramifications of the health reform legislation remain unclear, McGinnis is hopeful some of the changes will improve medical services in rural communities that historically have had fewer doctors and a higher percentage of patients suffering from heart and lung disease, diabetes and other serious ailments" (Johnson, 7/17).
The Washington Post reports on another initiative to address access to care called the Medical House Call Program, "an intensive program at the Washington Hospital Center designed to care for very sick elder people in their homes and keep them out of the hospital." The program is staffed by a group of doctors, nurse practitioners and social workers "who visit elders in their homes and coordinate the complex care they often require." Six hundred patients who live in areas around the hospital are enrolled in the effort (Ruane, 7/18). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.