Overcoming Challenges Facing Rural Hospitals: I Don’t Care with Kevin Stevenson

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On this episode of I Don’t Care, host Kevin Stevenson is joined by Eastland Memorial Hospital’s Ron Hunt, who brings to the table a lengthy career of experience in rehab and post-acute care, to discuss the ins and outs of rural healthcare.Listen to I Don’t Care LIVE every Friday morning at 9:30AM CST to stay up to date with everything going on in the healthcare industry.

Rural facilities can differ from those in larger metropolitan areas in a variety of ways, including the very nature of their staffs of medical professionals – rural facilities sometimes have to rely on episodic doctors willing to travel and work on location.
“We’re pretty fortunate here (at Eastland),” Hunt said. “We’ve got, I believe, five physicians that are still in town. … We’ve got a general surgeon, which you don’t see happen very much, anymore.”

Still, Hunt and Eastland also contract with an outside company through a hospitalist program, which allows for outside physicians to come into the hospital and stay with patients from the time they are admitted until discharge. Eastland’s ER operates in a similar manner.

Hunt and Stevenson also discussed the challenges that Eastland and rural facilities face, including aging populations, challenges in treating patients who are unemployed, and more
“There are a number of things that are going on in rural America that make it difficult for us to maintain the hospital,” Hunt said. “We have an older population. … The other thing that we see out here is we see a lot of people who are either unemployed or underemployed.”

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