Sunday May 29th 2016

Wyoming nurse testifies on lack of primary care access for rural residents

The Affordable Care Act will provide health insurance coverage for nearly 30 million Americans through state insurance exchanges. However, with enrollment for these exchanges set to begin in October, health care professionals are raising concerns about who will provide care to the newly insured.

Toni Decklever, MA, RN, of the Wyoming Nurses Association (WNA), expressed concerns about primary care access during the Jan. 29 U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Primary Health and Aging Subcommittee hearing, “30 Million New Patients and 11 Months to Go: Who Will Provide Their Primary Care?”

Toni Decklever, Wyoming Nurses Association member, second from right, testifies before a Senate subcommittee about primary care access barriers.

Decklever spoke to the unique challenges of providing primary care in Wyoming and other rural and sparsely populated states, including distance to health care facilities, a shortage of primary care providers and a lack of state incentive and loan repayment money to recruit and retain providers. Decklever was part of a panel of nurses, physicians and other health care professionals who testified about the challenges of providing primary care to the newly insured and the need for more funding and resources to ensure affordable, high-quality health care for all.

Decklever’s testimony can be found here. Video can be found here.

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