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rural health

Rural Texans With HIV Or AIDS Face Stigma, And Limited Care Options

Aug 23, 2018

From Texas Standard:

Texas has the fourth highest rate of HIV and AIDS in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A majority of the 86,000 Texans with these conditions live in urban areas, where there’s better access to medical care and a greater chance of avoiding the stigma that can come with a positive diagnosis. But for Texans with HIV or AIDS who live in smaller towns, finding medical care – and human compassion – can be much more difficult.

Public domain

Texas has almost a dozen medical schools, but it also has a rural healthcare worker shortage. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is set to vote Thursday on whether to approve another medical school.

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Consulting a doctor by phone, text or video is becoming popular. And in Texas, the debate over safety and access to health care is heating up. 

Laerdal Medical

Maybe you’ve seen a baby doll that cries or hiccups, but how about one with a pulse? At UT Arlington’s College of Nursing, teachers put students through the paces of emergency scenarios remotely, using computer-programmed baby manikins.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

A shortage of medical specialists, combined with a glut of newly insured patients has put some rural Texas hospitals in a bind.

Comanche County Medical Center

Rural hospitals provide emergency and routine care for millions of people in Texas. But over the past few decades, their doors have been closing. The Affordable Care Act was supposed to help financially-strained rural hospitals stay open – but it doesn’t look like there will be much relief for those in Texas.

Comanche County Medical Center

Rural hospitals provide emergency and routine care for millions of people in Texas. But over the past few decades, their doors have been closing. The Affordable Care Act was supposed to help financially-strained rural hospitals stay open – but it doesn’t look like there will be much relief for those in Texas.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

In rural Texas, finding a family practice doctor is no easy feat. There are dozens of counties without doctors, and the need for health care is only going to increase as more people buy insurance through the Affordable Care Act. So how do we convince recent medical school graduates to strap on their boots and take root in rural clinics? Give them a taste. Turns out, they often end up sticking around.

Healthcare.gov

In Texas there are about a dozen different insurance companies participating in the marketplace, selling roughly 100 plans across the state. As the Texas Medical Association points out though, some areas of the state, especially rural areas, have fewer insurance options than others.