According to Rural Health Info, “Rural hospitals are an integral part of the healthcare system. Because of their significant contributions to overall community well-being, they are a critical component of communities across rural America. Rural hospitals provide services across the continuum of care from primary care to long-term care.”

Access to healthcare services is considered critical to good health and ideally, residents should be able to conveniently and confidently access services such as primary care,  emergency care, and more. According to Healthy People 2020, access to healthcare is important for:

  • Overall physical, social, and mental health status
  • Disease prevention
  • Detection, diagnosis, and treatment of illness
  • Quality of life
  • Avoiding preventable deaths
  • Life expectancy