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Overcoming Access Barriers in Rural Idaho

Apr 30, 2019

By Southwest District Health

Rural communities in Idaho face many barriers: transportation due to the long distances necessary to reach diabetes management resources, lack of insurance coverage including both uninsured patients and patients with insurance plans that do not cover Southwest District Health (SWDH) diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) providers, and language and cultural differences for Hispanic residents. Additional anticipated barriers based on previous DSMES expansion include low referrals and low patient activation.

With funding from AADE’s Reaching Out for Better Health Program, SWDH will expand its DSMES program to two underserved rural communities with large Hispanic and uninsured populations. In partnership with local primary care practices and community organizations, SWDH hopes to build a strong referral base for services. A thorough evaluation of services will promote sustainability of partnership with these practices that will allow SWDH to not only serve vulnerable populations, but also develop a durable presence in the rural communities it serves.

The SWDH team believes that by targeting provider and community awareness of available programs, we can address barriers related to low referrals and patient enrollment. In order to accomplish this aim, SWDH will work to enhance marketing and outreach with primary care providers and trusted community members, demonstrate impact on patient outcomes, and partner with key stakeholders to establish sustainable agreements for care.

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