WaPo: This is what a rural healthcare shortage looks like

The Washington Post follows a couple from rural Tennessee as they travel to a pop-up clinic for the first medical care they've had in years.

The couple, Lisa and Stevie Crider, each have multiple chronic medical conditions but have not seen a physician in more than four years. They traveled overnight to the temporary clinic, hosted at a high school in Cleveland, Tenn., by the nonprofit Remote Area Medical. When the Criders arrived at the clinic at 2 a.m. the morning before it opened, more than 300 cars were already in the parking lot, according to the report.

The story illustrates what it's like to be one of 50 million rural Americans to live in a healthcare shortage area. An estimated 2.5 million people in Tennessee live without easy access to medical services, due to declining numbers of hospitals and physicians to staff them, according to the report. With 12 hospital closures since 2010, Tennessee ranks second in the nation behind Texas.

Read the full story here.

Find a state-by-state breakdown of 102 rural hospital closures since 2010 here.  


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