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Rural cancer care may be closer than you think
Date:3/26/2013

e site drops from 42 percent to 10 percent when VCCs are considered. He says this number is important because it turns the problem into something that can be addressed.

"When almost half the population has limited access to cancer care, you throw up your hands and say what can you do?" he says. "But if only 10 percent have limited access, we say, we can deal with that, that's a problem we can solve."

Gruca says his study suggests that VCCs could play a larger role in cancer care as the health care system is reorganized by the Affordable Care Act.

"We need to study this more to make sure those changes don't make access to care more difficult," he says.

Making VCCs a larger part of the health care system could also boost the economic fortunes of struggling hospitals in small towns and rural areas that have seen large numbers of their population move away in recent years.

Gruca says additional research is needed to determine how VCCs can be most optimally used. His research looked at only Iowa, and while he expects his results will apply to other Midwest states that have larger towns and cities that can service rural VCCs, it might not apply to more isolated Plains states with less population density.

He says past research has also shown doctors don't always like participating in visiting clinic programs because it's disruptive and requires a lot of time on the road.


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Contact: Thomas Gruca
thomas-gruca@uiowa.edu
319-335-0946
University of Iowa
Source:Eurekalert

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