The Importance of America’s Rural Hospitals
America’s rural hospitals play an essential and integral role in the healthcare system, providing significant contributions to the well-being of the communities we serve.
As residents of this beautiful rural community, we know first-hand the importance of having convenient access to healthcare services such as primary and emergency care.
Access to quality healthcare services helps promote:
- Overall physical well-being
- Disease prevention
- Improved quality of life and life expectancy
- Early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of illnesses
- Death prevention
Sadly, a recent Fox News article highlighted some of the healthcare challenges affecting rural areas across America.
The news article quoted statistics from the National Bureau of Economic Research, which reveals that in the last decade, many rural hospitals have closed their doors.
Hospital closures pose a real danger to the well-being of nearly 20 percent of American’s who live in rural areas.
Living outside urban and suburban areas can pose significant challenges to anyone needing medical attention. One crucial obstacle is the distance and the time required to get the help the patient requires.
Access to quality healthcare is becoming more and more of a challenge for anyone living outside of urban areas.
According to the Pew Research Center, residents of rural communities, on average, have to travel more than double the length to get to the hospital compared to people in urban areas.
According to the study, rural Americans live an average of 10.5 miles away from the nearest hospital. Residents of suburban areas, on average, must travel 5.6 miles to reach a hospital, and those living in urban areas need only travel 4.4 miles to get medical attention at a hospital.
Travel times are also a consideration. For rural residents, travel times can vary from as little as 6 minutes to 34 minutes of car travel to reach the nearest acute care facility. According to the center, the average car travel time to the nearest hospital in Texas is 12.3 minutes.
While this may not seem like an excessive amount of time, having quick access to emergency care during a stroke or heart attack could mark the difference between the patient making a full recovery or ending up with a life-long disability or possibly death.
Altus Lumberton’s Commitment
While some rural hospitals are considering closing their doors, Altus Lumberton is expanding its services to help the nearly 12,500 residents of this beautiful town.
One of the main reasons we decided to turn our ER center into a hospital was to provide a much-needed service to the residents of Lumberton and other surrounding towns.
Before we converted to a hospital, patients needed to drive as far south as Beaumont or go north to Lufkin for hospital care. Now, they have access to world-class, affordable care in a convenient location, close to home.
Altus Lumberton is committed to safeguarding the health of the members of the community it serves. Our growth plans go hand in hand with those of the city, and we vow to do our best to improve the lives of our patients and neighbors for many years to come.