Medical Desert Definition: a populated region more than 60 minutes away from the nearest acute-care hospital.
Close to 1 in 5 Residential Areas in America don’t have access to an acute-care hospital.
Including areas in:
And large rural regions in:
A total of 640 entire U.S. counties are medical deserts.
It’s a big deal
With rural communities already facing higher diabetes, heart problem, and cancer rates
Coachella Valley, CA: 
1 doctor for every 1,653 residents in the eastern half of the valley
Now that several new clinics have opened.
It’s a medical desert, literally:
11.6% of Desert Hot Springs struggled to receive healthcare due to transportation
15.3% of residents couldn’t see a doctor because of office hours.
Belhaven, NC: 
It’s a matter of business:
2 Medical Centers owned by the same company
1 in Washington, NC
1 in Belhaven, NC
“Failing Hospitals” must be restructured.
The Belhaven location was gutted of medical equipment which gutted revenue
An administrator who visited once a week was on the payroll for 6 figures.
Hospital loses $1.8 million a year, a reason for the owning company to “consolidate” campuses.
A reason for the owning company to “consolidate” campuses
—A medical desert was created.
1 hour drive from edges of service area to Washington, NC hospital
1 hour= most critical time for stroke recovery
Rural clinics refer patients to larger facilities owned by the same companies
Make money: through referrals for large services
Don’t make money: by simply treating rural populations.
If you’re critically injured, SHOULD you have to drive for an hour to get medical care?