Advanced health practitioners (AHP’s)

Distances in rural health care can be hard to fathom. A 2018 study found it took rural Americans, on average, 17 minutes to get to a hospital, but only 10 minutes in an urban center.[i] The distance between rural hospitals can be vastly further – in 2019, a National Institutes of Health study noted that hospitals in one rural state were generally at least 50 miles apart.[ii] These areas have been described (without meaning to be pejorative) as “health deserts.”[iii] Small populations, and a growing shortage of physicians in rural areas,[iv] often lead to hospitals in these areas having only one or two physicians in a particular specialty. Advanced health practitioners (AHP’s) with specialty training, such as psychiatric nurse practitioners or certified nurse midwives, can be an excellent way to preserve access to specialty care, particularly when lack of physician coverage would otherwise mean the hospital must divert or transfer emergency patients.Continue Reading It’s a Long Way From Here to There: Advanced Healthcare Practitioners, EMTALA’s Call Coverage Requirements, and Rural Hospitals