Opioid Misuse in Rural America

From the USDA:

The United States is experiencing an epidemic of drug overdose deaths.  In 2016, nearly 64,000 Americans died from a drug overdose. At 174 people each day, this is more than the number of lives lost in car accidents or gun-related homicides. An overwhelming majority of these overdose deaths involved an opioid.  While no corner of the country has gone untouched by this issue, the opioid epidemic has hit rural America particularly hard.

In October 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that the rates of drug overdose deaths are rising in rural areas, surpassing rates in urban areas.  A November 2017 report from the USDA Economic Research Service revealed rising mortality rates among working age adults living in rural America, stemming in part from prescription drug and heroin misuse.  Lastly, a December 2017 survey by the National Farmers Union and the American Farm Bureau Federation found that as many as 74 percent of farmers have been directly impacted by the opioid crisis.

Rethinking Rural Health Solutions To Save Patients And Communities

From NPR:

It’s a quickly changing landscape as more rural hospitals close, and some health policy analysts say it’s time communities made some hard decisions — starting with completely changing the health care structure in small towns.

For example, says a recent report by the Bipartisan Policy Center, instead of making sure each rural resident can easily get to a full-service hospital, some communities should consider what kind of primary care and more specialized care they could offer at a facility instead — short of having a full-service hospital.

Opioid overdoses surge locally

From the Record-Mail:

More west-central Illinois people are dying from opioids than five years ago.

GateHouse Western Illinois Division newspapers sought information on deaths in the last five years from coroners in Fulton, Henry, Henderson, McDonough, Knox, Tazewell and Warren counties.

Reports show 156 people died from drug overdoses in those counties since 2013. Of those totals, 90 were in Tazewell County, 24 were in Fulton County and 20 were in Knox County.

And the number of drug deaths is rising. Overdose deaths in the seven counties jumped from 27 in 2013 to 48 in 2017, a 78 percent increase.

No-frills micro hospitals with as few as 8 rooms emerge as a new way to cut health-care costs

From CNBC (hat tip: Dr. Menadue):

The future of health care looks small and digital.

Micro hospitals are emerging in some suburban and urban markets as a backup to community facilities — or in regions where there is not enough demand for full-sized hospitals. The facilities range from 15,000 to 60,000 square feet, substantially smaller than community hospitals, and offer as few as eight beds.

These smaller facilities can provide lower-cost care for patients compared with traditional community hospitals, Dr. Richard Zane, chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Colorado, told CNBC.

Doctors Want You to Know How Much Damage Rifle Bullets Really Do

From Gizmodo:

Per a devastating piece in the New York Times on Sunday, trauma surgeons who have worked on injuries inflicted by military-style weapons want to call attention not to the exact model of the rifle, but the size and speed of the bullets they fire. To put it short: The resulting injuries are grotesque.