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Health Care Capsule: Accessing Health Care in Rural America

GAO-23-106651 Published: May 16, 2023. Publicly Released: May 16, 2023.
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Fast Facts

This Health Care Capsule summarizes our work on health care access in rural areas. Rural residents face several access challenges, including:

  • Fewer health care providers, which limits access to specialized services
  • Longer travel distances to get to health care and fewer transportation options than urban areas
  • Less broadband internet, which limits access to telehealth services

We've recommended that federal agencies learn more about the needs of rural residents and their health outcomes to better ensure that rural residents get the care that they need.

A road leading into a small village with barns, houses, and a church and fall foliage.

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This capsule draws from a number of GAO reports to describe examples of health care access challenges faced by people living in rural areas and federal efforts to help address those challenges.


In this capsule, GAO cites policy considerations and reiterates recommendations to address gaps in information regarding the health care needs of people living in rural areas.

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