With expanded funding, small emergency clinics could solve the rural health-care crisis

Dec 15, 2016

Credit Khampha Bouaphanh / Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Rural Texas residents have struggled to find adequate healthcare for a long time. In the last three years alone, fifteen rural hospitals have closed in Texas.

In fact, the American College of Emergency Physicians has given the Lone Star State an F when it comes to providing emergency care access to small town residents.

But Amarillo physician Gerad Troutman offered a solution this week in a Fort Worth Star-Telegram editorial. Troutman wrote that if Texas provided “the free market the ability to accept Medicare and Medicaid, . . . freestanding emergency centers [would] become a permanent fix for rural access to care issues in Texas.”

The physician explained that the costs of operating these small clinics are much lower than with a rural hospital. Dr. Troutman insists that allowing them to accept federal funding would open up critical health care access to rural Texas.