The Gaps in America’s Healthcare System
At the population of the US, both grows and ages the American healthcare system continues to grow to deal with the increasing strain. While much of the media coverage of the healthcare sector focuses on this growth and the opportunities it provides, there is another issue that is less well reported.
In this article, we’ll be looking at the rapidly climbing rate of rural hospital closures in the US and how parts of rural America are being put at risk by the gaps in America’s healthcare system.
Advancing Hospital Closures
Over 120 rural hospitals have closed since 2010, according to the University of North Carolina’s NC Rural Health Research Program. In many cases, this leaves large rural populations more than an hour away from the closest trauma care center.
Many millions of American are being put at greater risk of dying of heart attacks, trauma, and problematic births by these hospital closures, with a report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that people in rural America are 50 percent more likely to die from accidental causes due in large part to their distance from trauma centers.
The impact of hospital closures doesn’t only affect the ability of the local population’s ability to use healthcare resources. Another study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that per capita income falls 4 percent and the unemployment rate rises 1.6 percent when a rural hospital closes.
The issue here is rooted in the income inequality found in rural areas. Part of the reason for these hospital closures it that rural workers tend not be able to afford quality private insurance on their own.
This plus an overall aging population means that many residents depend on Medicare or Medicaid, and with Medicaid, many states with heavily rural populations have refused to expand it under the Affordable Care Act.
Though these public programs were designed to make healthcare more affordable to low-income demographics, they pay hospitals much less than private insurance, sometimes as much as 50 percent less. Hospitals are left to absorb the cost difference and suffer the damage.
This has resulted in a very challenging financial situation for rural hospital administrators and a much more dangerous situation for many rural communities.
A Vital Part Of The Healthcare Cycle
Taken together, medical coding and billing form a link between patients, healthcare providers, and insurance companies. As a medical biller or coder, you’ll need to be accurate, detail-oriented and well organized as you’ll be a vital part of any healthcare provider’s staff.
As one of the premier Medical Billing and Coding Schools in Las Vegas, Northwest Career College employs established, seasoned instructors to teach you every aspect of medical billing and coding. Our student-focused approach puts you first and we offer online and on-campus workshops to accommodate your work and family schedule.
We continue to support our students after they graduate as our experienced Career Services team works with you to help you find the medical billing and coding jobs in Las Vegas. Call us today on (702) 403-1592 to learn more about the exciting opportunities that our Medical Billing and Coding School can offer you!
Nancy Ferrante, C.M.B.S.
Medical Billing & Coding Program Chair