Almost a quarter of the U.S. population lives in a rural area. And disparities between health outcomes and rural residents continue to increase. About 17 percent of AAFP members live and work every day in rural America and deeply understand the realities rural communities face in order to remain prosperous and vibrant. The AAFP understands that rural communities' needs are unique, oftentimes differing greatly from the realities of their urban counterparts.
The AAFP is committed to helping improve rural health care across our country. And in summer 2019, the AAFP launched a plan to improve rural health. The AAFP Rural Health initiative will:
Member Stories: AAFP Members Tout Rural Family Medicine
AAFP members from 24 states shared their experience as rural family physicians during the Rural Health initiative Hometown Radio Interviews, which were recorded during FMX. Conducted by radio broadcasting professional Christopher Michael, who has more than 25 years of on-air experience, the interviews were distributed to radio stations in participants’ home towns and to regional and national networks, reaching a total audience of more than 56.6 million listeners in 24 states. Click here to listen to a sample interview.
Telehealth has the potential to increase access to care, facilitate care coordination and ensure that patients receive timely care in areas where health facilities are limited.
Rural Health Clinic Modernization Act of 2019
Rural health clinics are the lifeline for millions of Americans. Family physicians who practice in these settings face challenges unique to their location, outdated regulations and low payments. In identical letters to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, the AAFP advocates for passage of the Rural Health Clinic Modernization Act of 2019, which would improve rural patients’ access to care by improving payment and allowing greater flexibility for rural clinics.
In conjunction with the launch of the Rural Health initiative, the AAFP joined with more than 250 organizations across the country to become a working partner in the Rebuild Rural Infrastructure Coalition. A major focus of the initiative will be partnering with organizations that are focused on rural initiatives, allowing the AAFP to share best practices and resources, helping family physicians not only support but elevate health for everyone in their communities.
Speak Out for Teaching Health Centers Today
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Academy Pushes Lawmakers to Deliver Rural MOMS Act
AAFP Response to House Ways and Means Committee's Rural and Underserved Communities Health Task Force RFI