With the populations of rural communities in Texas stagnant or declining, access to health care is more of a challenge than ever. Eighty Texas counties have five doctors or fewer; 35 counties have no doctors at all. More rural hospitals have closed in Texas in the last 10 years than in any other state, and we have half as many rural hospitals as we did 50 years ago. Among the reasons most often cited: Texas’ failure to expand Medicaid — resulting in growing uncompensated care costs — and cuts to Medicare. Yet there are nearly 1.5 million people living in rural Texas — more than the populations of 10 states. How do they get the care they need?
Join us as we sit down with medical professionals, local officials and other stakeholders for a conversation about the state of rural health, moderated by Texas Tribune Managing Editor Corrie MacLaggan.
Our panelists are:
- Mike Henderson, family medicine doctor in Childress
- State Rep. Ken King, R-Canadian
- Holly Jeffreys, founder of Panhandle Family Care
- Billy Philips, executive vice president for rural and community health at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center