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Rural Health
News by Topic: Statistics and data

May 21, 2019 - The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announces changes to the State-Provided Physician Records for the Application Submission & Processing System, which is used for shortage area and underserved area and population designations. The changes include adding a National Provider Identifier to the system, changing the name to "Health Professional Service Delivery Data Used to Designate Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) and Medically Underserved Areas and Populations (MUA/Ps)," and also using the records for workforce analyses and validating provider data for automatically designated health professional shortage facilities. Comments are due June 20, 2019.
Source: Federal Register
May 21, 2019 - A new Life in Rural America poll shows that a majority of rural Americans are satisfied with their quality of life and optimistic about improving their communities. Healthcare access, finances, and high-speed internet access were among the top challenges cited, with about a quarter of respondents having challenges accessing healthcare and 8% facing a local hospital closure.
Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
May 17, 2019 - A 2018 Census Bureau survey found that knowing census data guides public funding decisions was the most important reason for replying to the census, but only 45% of respondents knew that the 2020 Census is used for this purpose. The 2020 Census Barriers, Attitudes, and Motivators Study included focus groups with American Indians/Alaska Natives, rural communities, and other groups that may not have responded in sufficient numbers for valid statistics in a sample survey.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
May 16, 2019 - In Tennessee, 10 rural hospitals have closed since 2012, more than any other state in the U.S. An investigation of hospital financial records shows that 15 additional hospitals lost money 3 years in a row, primarily in the Appalachian region.
Source: The Tennessean
May 15, 2019 - Rural counties in western Colorado are paying some of the highest health insurance premiums in the state, thanks to lack of competition among hospitals and insurance carriers. Even though rural hospitals cannot reasonably increase competition, more insurance carrier options in rural areas could help reduce premiums.
Source: The Daily Sentinel
May 13, 2019 - Data analysis in Connecticut shows that only 10 small towns in the state have not had a death from an opioid overdose in the last 4 years. The reasons for their addictions often stem from prescriptions that became an addiction, particularly in the Appalachian Valley. Article includes data on deaths by county and city for 2015-2018.
Source: Government Technology
May 13, 2019 - A new study shows great variation among readmissions for pediatric patients based on hospital type and diagnosis. The data is intended to create quality performance benchmarks for hospitals, including nonmetropolitan hospitals. Nonmetropolitan hospitals had higher readmission rates for diabetes, but lower readmission rates for many other conditions, such as asthma.
Source: Becker's Clinical Leadership and Infection Control
May 8, 2019 - A new study shows that disparities between rural and urban diabetes mortality rates are increasing. While mortality rates related to diabetes in urban areas have decreased over time, rural areas have not been keeping pace.
Source: The Daily Yonder
May 8, 2019 - A new study by the Robert Graham Center found that family physicians spent less on low-value care and those practicing in the Midwest or rural areas had even lower spending per patient on low-value care. The study also found that rural family physicians had a broader scope of practice than family physicians in urban areas.
Source: American Academy of Family Physicians
May 3, 2019 - Research supported by the American Farm Bureau Federation surveyed farmers, farmworkers, and rural adults to identify factors affecting their mental health. Nearly half of respondents said they faced more mental health challenges than a year ago and a majority of the farmers and farmworkers surveyed identified financial issues as a top mental health concern.
Source: Feedstuffs