Rural adults, according to research, state five times more often than urban adults to feel fair or poor about their health status. Most of these rural residents prefer to get their care locally and may not get specialty care because of their reluctance to go elsewhere (Pierce, Foley, Clark, 2006). There are also many other cited barriers to care. Those include lack of financial resources, distance to care, lack of transportation, and a shortage of healthcare professionals that varies by profession, region, and state (Merwin, et.al. 2006). Rates of those healthcare professionals continue to decline in rural areas. There is also difficulty getting appropriate supplies and provides problems for services like home health care and meals on wheels.
There are many strategies that have been contemplated for use in improving this rural healthcare problem. It is much more studied now than in the past, with the information given in the Healthy People 2010 study. In the rural communities in Oregon, there is an effort to solve this problem. There are several very rural hospitals in Oregon which are Critical Access Hospitals.