Rural Oklahoma’s nurse practitioners
There are many differences between rural and urban areas that are great for Oklahoma. Both regions play an important role in the past and future culture of our great state, and both have great people living in their communities no matter the size.
It’s fair to say, however, that urban areas have access to more health care opportunities, including doctors and facilities, over their rural counterparts.
Even though rural Oklahoma has great physicians, hospitals and medical clinics, rural Oklahoma just doesn’t have adequate numbers of health care professionals to cover all of our needs and population. Many rural patients have to travel long distances to see a health care professional.
Because of this, nurse practitioners have become an important part of rural Oklahoma. They are vital to the health care needs of our patients.
Nurse practitioners are the people who are available and accessible day or night and on weekends. Without them, thousands of rural Oklahomans would be at a loss for their health care services.
One problem that rural Oklahoma is running into today is related to insurance companies discussing the possibility of moving away from covering charges of nurse practitioners.
Any Oklahoman that has health care coverage through an insurance program, urban or rural, is paying monthly or annual premiums, and insurance companies have their co-pay, deductible and rates they pay for each procedure or office visit.
I’m receiving calls not only from health care professionals in rural Oklahoma, but also from rural hospitals, which is concerning.
Before this situation gets any worse, I would ask all insurance companies and our state’s Health Care Authority to put this on their radar to see how devastating it could be for thousands of rural Oklahomans and for the hardworking health care professionals who would be affected by a change of this magnitude.
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