State-level Rural Health Policy Report as inadecuate

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Most discussions of rural health policy overlookthe key role that states play in crafting and deliveringprograms that directly affect the access, cost, or qualityof health services to rural residents. However, policiessuch as regulations embodied in medical practice acts,education programs, and funding for local publichealth programs are the subject of debate in state capitals.Moreover, the current climate of devolution andblock grants serves to increase the state governmentrole in shaping the effectiveness of rural health programs.Despite the lack of discussion of the state roleby rural health researchers, state governments play avital role in rural health. This paper provides statelevelpolicy makers with an overview of the key issuesin rural health and principles for developing policiesand programs in this area. Furthermore, this paperargues that states should adopt a “rural lens” in healthpolicy formulation. That is, states should explicitlyaccount for the differences in medical geography oftheir rural areas when crafting and implementinghealth policy. Additionally, this paper suggests scrutinyof current rural health policies so that significantrural people (the intended beneficiaries) do not losebenefits from the policies through rent-seeking behaviorsof powerful interests in the health care arena onthe provider side (physicians, hospitals, medicalschools).

Subject(s): Health Economics and Policy

Issue Date: 2007

Publication Type: Journal Article

PURL Identifier: Published in: Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, Volume 37, Issue 1

Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy Page range: 56-59

Total Pages: 4

Record appears in: Mid-Continent Regional Science Association > Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy

Author: McNamara, Paul E.


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