Report Released on Health Care Access for Rural Pennsylvanians with Disabilities

From the Pennsylvania Health Action Network and the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council

Navigating the Pennsylvania health care system is frequently challenging. Long wait lists, unexpected costs, and lack of coverage for needed services  affect many health care consumers in Pennsylvania. These issues are especially acute in the rural parts of the state where many live in poverty, distances are longer, transportation infrastructure is limited, and there may be fewer options for treatment.

People with disabilities living in rural areas encounter all of these problems as well as prejudice, ignorance, and various barriers that impact their ability to access health care services, facilities, and equipment.  This report features stories from people with disabilities, their family members and caregivers about barriers to health care access. We collected these stories through surveys, face-to-face meetings, phone conversations, and public listening sessions during 2019 and 2020.

The goal of this report is to document barriers, better understand the perspectives and needs of those facing them, and raise awareness of the need for improved accessibility.

The report can be accessed at