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HealthConnections: Why Are Rural Hospitals Closing?

Polk County is the very southeast corner of Tennessee. Its population is just shy of 17,000. It’s known for its whitewater rafting and was once the epicenter of Tennessee’s copper industry. And, at this moment, it has no hospital. The Copper Basin Medical Center closed this month, not only leaving Polk Countians without immediate medical care, but becoming the tenth rural hospital in the state to close since 2010. Today, we look at the challenges rural hospitals face.

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HealthConnections: What Happens on September 30th?

Circle September 30 on your calendar. That's the end of the current federal fiscal year. With it may come significant changes for a children's insurance program, less money for community health centers, and a possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

Plus: Appalachian health typically fares worse than the rest of the country. We briefly discuss the roots of the region's health disparities.

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HealthConnections: Stabilizing the Market

In testimony last week before the U.S. Senate's Health, Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee, Tennessee Insurance Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak and Governor Bill Haslam urged Congress to keep paying cost-sharing payments called CSRs. The Trump Administration has hinted it will halt those payments, a move observers have said could be dangerous for already-precarious markets, consumers and insurers.

What are CSRs, and why do they matter? And why is Congress facing a tight deadline for action? Dr. Carole Myers parses the HELP hearings in this week's installment of HealthConnections.

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HealthConnections: What is Single Payer?

Let's save health care!

Okay, how?

That's where the country is right now. Polls show Americans generally agree health options, coverage and care could stand a good spruce-up (or even a major renovation). But how, and by how much, are open questions that, for now, have no clear answers either among the public or among elected officials. One proposal is called the single-payer option.But what IS single-payer, and how does it work?

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radioCarole R MyersFeed, featured