Many of the 61 million people who live in rural America have limited access to health care. Almost a quarter of the nation's population lives in rural places yet only an eighth of our doctors work there. Sponsored by the U.S. Office of Rural Health Policy, this unique book provides the facts about this imbalance and interprets them in the context of government programs that promote the placement of doctors and the operation of hospitals in rural places while paying them less to treat Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. The authors' comprehensive analysis of rural health care delivery shows where there are differences in rates of death and disease between rural areas using maps, graphs, and plain-English descriptions. The book provides a thorough look at health care in rural America, giving a snapshot of how doctors, hospitals, and technology are unevenly distributed outside the nation's metropolitan areas.