St. James Parish, La. is the hardest-hit counties nationwide for COVID-19 cases per capita, placing its small rural hospital on the pandemic’s front lines.
Small and isolated rural areas that lagged during the economic boom may fare better, relatively speaking, in the aftermath of the pandemic.
Rural hospitals may not be able to keep their doors open as the coronavirus pandemic saps their cash, their CEOs warn, just as communities most need them.
Rural areas face numerous challenges as they encounter a coronavirus: fewer hospitals, longer distances to care and a higher proportion of vulnerable people
Rural residents are in poorer health and have less access to treatment, partly because so many rural hospitals and health clinics have shuttered in recent years
Rural patients often are unable to pay their high deductibles, leaving their local hospital unpaid for the services it provides their local community.
Most of the biggest increases were in rural and Southern areas that saw a downturn in local industries and where residents lacked job training and skills
Insurance plans often do not cover local providers forcing patients to travel further to get care.
Rural, isolated areas lack public transportation. Traveling can be tough on the poor and seniors. Grocery delivery services aren’t widely available.