Urban & Rural

Access to healthcare varies along the urban/rural continuum and there are marked differences in healthcare delivery challenges and strategies.  Access to specialty behavioral healthcare tends to be much more limited in rural areas, accentuating the benefits of a collaborative care model. Telehealth allows providers to deliver health-related services and information via telecommunications, and is a strategy frequently employed to fill the gap in rural areas.  In rural communities where everyone knows their neighbors, stigma can be a significant barrier to seeking specialty mental health services. These factors make the integrated approach to care particularly useful.

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Individuals that lack adequate health insurance, are low-income, or reside in rural areas often cannot access preventive and primary care services and do not have a regular source of care. As a result, health problems may go undiagnosed and/or untreated, increasing the long-term risk of serious illness and death among the medically underserved. One of AHRQ’s featured... Read more