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Recent posts by Jordan Rasmussen

Rural mental health care must not be overlooked

The challenges that try rural communities in nearly all aspects of health care – greater travel distances, fewer providers, heightened health concerns, lower incomes – also stand in the way of the delivery of behavioral and mental health care services. While there is not a greater prevalence of mental illness among rural residents, a significant disparity exists in access to mental health services and care for rural populations.

In the United States, there are nearly 4,900 areas with mental health professional shortages. Of these, nearly 54 percent are classified as rural.

Bridging Nebraska's digital divide through funding and legislative opportunities

The expansion of internet access for rural Nebraska is the focus of a recently released grant funding opportunity and upcoming legislative hearings.

The internet is now one of the most basic modes of how people find employment, attend college, work, handle their finances, and receive medical care. However, especially in rural areas of the state, the internet is not available to be utilized in its full capacity. Nebraska’s Legislature and agencies are seeking to address the issue.

Behavioral and mental health access lags in rural areas

The demographic challenges that try rural communities in nearly all aspects of health care delivery are also prominent in the delivery of behavioral and mental health care services. Rural populations as a whole are older and have fewer financial resources. On average, this population possess higher uninsured and Medicaid rates and more health concerns.

The rural population in Nebraska also follows these trends, as the median age of rural Nebraskans is 44 years of age compared to the urban population median age of 38. In 2015, rural Nebraskans earned $9,400 less in median income than the urban cohort’s median income. Rural Nebraskans also lag in self-reported health status. The rate of uninsured rural Nebraskans is 13 percent compared to 10 percent of urban residents.

Rural Red Alert: Tell your representative to vote no on tax cuts for the wealthy

Both the U.S. House and Senate have passed their versions of a budget resolution, including “reconciliation” instructions to cut spending and pave the way for Congress to pass sweeping tax cuts for the wealthy with only 51 votes.

While the Senate and House bills differ greatly, the latest reports suggest the House is looking to accept the Senate version and vote on the bill TODAY.

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