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California's Rural Health Clinics: Obstacles and Opportunities
California's 271 rural health clinics are key providers of primary care to elderly and low-income populations. This report presents an overview of the patients they serve and the obstacles they face.
California's Rural Health Clinics: Obstacles and Opportunities (2.33 MB)
Rural health clinics (RHCs) provide primary care services to elderly and low-income populations in designated rural areas throughout the state. Providers certified as RHCs meet stringent federal criteria and receive cost-based reimbursement for Medicare and Medi-Cal services.
More than two-thirds of California counties do not have the minimum number of primary care physicians considered adequate to meet demand. In general, rural counties tend to have far fewer physicians per capita than urban counties. California's 271 RHCs fill some of this health care gap.
This snapshot presents an overview of RHCs to develop a better understanding of the care they provide and the obstacles they face. It is based on a study of publicly reported data and a survey of California RHCs.
Costs and limited resources were reported as the biggest challenges for RHCs generally, as well as the most important obstacles to increased use of electronic health records (EHRs) and telehealth.
The complete snapshot is available under Document Downloads.