Texas Rural Healthcare Continues to Struggle amidst Federal Debate

Share Article

Texas Organization of Rural & Community Hospitals provides advocacy and support through vision and legislation reform.

Illness knows no boundaries. Healthcare shouldn’t either.

As the healthcare debate remains a top concern for state and federal lawmakers, rural hospitals across Texas continue to struggle to provide much needed healthcare to the people of their community.

Between 1987 and 1993, Texas led the nation in hospital closures by nearly 20 percent. Many of the hospitals were in rural areas and closed because of low patient volumes and insufficient reimbursement from the government. Today, access to rural healthcare continues to be a challenge.

“Illness knows no boundaries. Healthcare shouldn’t either,” said David Pearson, president and chief executive officer of the Texas Organization of Rural & Community Hospitals (TORCH). “Rural communities should have the access to the highest quality healthcare as those in larger metropolitan areas. We need to do what we can to ensure this is possible.”

It was for the reason of hospital closures in the late '80s and early '90s that TORCH was founded 20 years ago. As a nonprofit organization, TORCH serves as an advocate for rural and community hospitals in Texas. The organization also serves as a leader in information technology and provides interim management and recruitment services for member hospitals.

“TORCH understands the challenges hospitals in these areas face, and represents them through political reform on state and federal levels,” Pearson said. “With more than half of the state medically underserved, we must do what we can to ensure rural and community hospitals keep their doors open and make way for new hospital districts in the areas that need them most.”

Moving forward, TORCH remains committed to successfully helping hospitals through challenges such as healthcare reform—on both state and federal levels. The adoption of health information technology continues to remain a priority as well, but successfully purchasing and installing these systems isn’t without great financial roadblocks.

“Rural and community hospitals continue to face on-going challenges, especially in workforce and infrastructure,” Pearson explained. “Without proper advocacy and support for them, they will not have the ability to serve their patients—which is already the huge challenge.”

The Texas Organization of Rural & Community Hospitals (TORCH) is the only organization in the nation dedicated to assisting general acute care hospitals of 150 beds and less by addressing the issues unique to rural and community hospitals. Founded in 1990, the Austin, Texas-based organization provides legislative and regulatory advocacy, specialized programs, publications, services and resources for members. For more information, please visit http://www.torchnet.org.

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print