Population Health Poses Unique Challenges in Rural Areas

October 28, 2015

Health Leaders Media (Commins, 10/28) reported that even though “many of the requisites for population health are more easily found in urban areas, where there is more of everything: more primary care physicians and subspecialists, more money to spend on very expensive healthcare information technology, and greater economies of scale for purchasing and leveraging with vendors and payers,” a number of rural health care providers are embracing population health as a way to provide care for the community. Although rural health care providers serve a small and spread-out population, they say they can make population health work using approaches such as “cooperation rather than competition among equals, clinical integration that emphasizes providers’ strengths rather than weaknesses, local engagement with a community rather than local ownership of all the components of care, and a focus on primary care rather than specialty care.”