Startling Rural Healthcare Stats - NC Farm Bureau

Published March 28, 2012

During last week's Healthcare Forum, NC Farm Bureau's Peter Daniel shared some startling rural healthcare statistics. Peter has graciously summarized these for NC SPIN to share.

As Peter discussed during the healthcare innovation panel discussion, NC Farm Bureau has made a substantial investment in upfitting a 50 foot Mobile Health Unit for health screenings in communities where economic factors, social and cultural differences, educational limitations and geographic isolation have obstructed rural North Carolinians ability to gain access to quality and affordable healthcare.

With gas at $4.00 a gallon, routine checkups become a very costly hurdle due to travel distances. Rural areas often have fewer doctors, and certain specialists might not be available at all. Because access to care is a problem in rural NC, health problems among rural residents may be more advanced by the time they are finally diagnosed.

With NC Farm Bureau's "Healthy Living for a Lifetime" campaign, their team has traveled the state meeting hardworking professionals in rural North Carolina. They have built partnerships throughout most of rural North Carolina, all rallying around one common goal:  To provide a quality and affordable service while finding medical homes for every North Carolinian.

Some notable statistics:

  • NC Farm Bureau has completed 26 events across the state
  • 68% of their clients have been female, while only 32% have been male
  • Most clients at these events have been Caucasian (73%), while 20% have been African-American and 5% Hispanic
  • The client population’s insured status has been relatively balanced, with 30% covered by Medicare or Medicaid, 30% covered by private insurance, and 25% indicating that they had no health insurance
  • When asked to rate their current health, 76% of clients indicated they were in Good or Excellent health
  • 73% of these clients were in fact overweight or obese, according to their body mass index
  • 35% of those screened had high cholesterol
  • 16% had high blood glucose
  • 64% had high blood pressure

What these statistics indicate, is that on top of the barriers to care that many rural North Carolinians face, there is also a lack of awareness about what it truly means to be in good health. By providing screenings and health education, and most notably by partnering with local health and wellness resources, NC Farm Bureau is attempting to make clients more aware of their own health status and provide a gateway to a medical home.

We are blessed to have an organization like NC Farm Bureau so focused on improved accessibility of affordable, quality healthcare for rural North Carolinians.

Stay tuned for more information on our statewide "A Healthier NC" campaign...