Health Care Advocates Say Arkansas Can Lead Way in Improving Quality of Health Care - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Little Rock, AR

Health Care Advocates Say Arkansas Can Lead Way in Improving Quality of Health Care

MARCH 23, 2005 - Posted at 7:50 a.m. CST

 

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Health care advocates in Washington say rural states like Arkansas can lead the way in improving quality of care because their health care systems are smaller and easier to change.

The National Rural Health Association released a plan yesterday that is critical of President Bush's proposed budget cuts to rural programs and Medicaid funding.  The plan also calls on Congress to fund pilot programs for improving health care in rural areas.

Bush proposed cutting Medicaid by $20 million to help pay down the federal deficit, but rural populations are poorer and rely more heavily on Medicaid, and Arkansas political leaders have been among those opposing that part of Bush's budget.  A Senate version of the budget eliminates the Medicaid cuts.

The Rural Health Association says that better funding and more attention on how rural health care needs differ from urban needs are critical.  A roundtable in Washington yesterday called on rural health care professionals to band together to create models for better health care quality.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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