A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report showed the challenges rural health care faces and the need for provider status legislation.
The report was introduced to the Senate, demonstrating that rural patients are in need of chronic pain and ailment management. A proposed bill suggests that rural residents, specifically the elderly, drive to the most convenient locations.
It also suggests that pharmacists should have a greater role in health management with rural residents, as they often do not go to see a physician because of driving distance.
“Pharmacists are highly trained professionals and the most accessible health care providers for patients,” Douglas Hoey, CEO of the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), said.
Statistics from the NCPA suggest that approximately 1,800 rural independent pharmacies act as the only pharmacy for their community.