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imageIn the United States, 54 million people live in a designated health service area with either no plastic surgeon or less than 1 plastic surgeon per 100,000 population. Previous studies demonstrate that patients in rural communities often have limitations with access to basic primary care services and subspecialty care services. Such limitations can have significant adverse impacts on health care and quality of life. Plastic and reconstructive surgeons offer unique advantages especially within rural settings given their broad scope of surgical skillsets. The purposes of this study are to illustrate the shortage of plastic and reconstructive surgeons within rural America catchment regions, identify and outline certain care offerings provided by these surgical specialists, and highlight the potential impact having such specialists directly involved in provision of care to patients within rural community settings. Our group will present data demonstrating misperceptions and an unawareness by hospital administrators on routine care services provided through plastic surgery practices. We will also report on selective surgical offerings of 2 rural-based plastic surgeons and outline certain financial and reimbursement findings from their practices, while also illustrating the impact of their practice on their patients and the health care systems they provide coverage.

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