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Rural Health
News by Topic: Statistics and data

Colorado Divide: In Rural Colorado, Doctors Are Retiring and Dying — and No One Is Taking Their Place.
Dec 10, 2017 - Details Colorado's high demand for physicians. In several rural counties, there is no hospital, and in some there isn't a clinic either, meaning long travel times for residents to access care. Where practices exist, they often have positions open for years because they are unable to recruit physicians. With older doctors reaching retirement age or passing away, this issue is poised to get worse. Includes county-level data on healthcare facilities and leading causes of death in Colorado.
Source: The Denver Post
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Two-Thirds of Rural Counties Have Fewer Jobs Today Than in 2007
Dec 6, 2017 - According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, rural counties continue to have fewer jobs available than they had before the recession in 2007. 40% of urban counties have fewer jobs than they did in 2007, compared to two-thirds of rural counties. Rural unemployment rates have dropped, but this is because the rural workforce has declined. Includes an interactive map with county-level data.
Source: The Daily Yonder
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Updated Medicare Part D Opioid Drug Mapping Tool Unveiled
Nov 29, 2017 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released an updated version of their interactive Medicare opioid prescribing mapping tool. This tool provides geographic comparisons of Medicare Part D opioid prescribing rates and includes county-level hot spots and outliers.
Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
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Scale of Opioid Epidemic in Texas Likely Obscured by Bad Data, Experts Say
Nov 17, 2017 - Because Texas state law only requires counties with a population greater than 1 million to have medical professionals sign death certificates, there is speculation that this has led to under-reporting of opioid overdose deaths. Only 15 of 254 Texas counties have medical examiners who determine if a body needs an autopsy. Other counties rely on non-medically trained justices of the peace to make that determination. Although Texas does not rank particularly highly among other states for opioid overdoses, it has four of the top five cities with the highest prescription painkiller abuse and ranks second in the country for healthcare costs associated with opioid abuse.
Source: The Daily Texan
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While Lower in Health Rankings, Rural Counties Still Have Advantages
Nov 15, 2017 - Details the results of the 2017 County Health Rankings which found that rural counties are less likely than their urban counterparts to receive high marks for health and are less likely to have organizations, people, and infrastructure in place to improve community health. Also touches on rural advantages that are more difficult to measure, like personal relationships and the interconnected nature of rural communities.
Source: The Daily Yonder
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Rural Food-Stamp Usage Holds Steady While National Rate Declines
Nov 14, 2017 - Use of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) continues to decline nationally, but rural areas have not seen a significant decrease in usage. Details the ways in which SNAP use rates can reflect other economic trends.
Source: The Daily Yonder
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Explore: How Many Young Doctors Does Your State Retain after Residency?
Nov 9, 2017 - Discusses the difficulty states face in trying to keep new doctors in state and in encouraging them to practice in underserved areas after they have completed their residencies. Also highlights data from a new report from the Association of American Medical Colleges tracking doctors and doctors-in-training by state.
Source: STAT News
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One in Five US Adults Still Using Tobacco Products in 2015
Nov 9, 2017 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) that found that 1 in 5 U.S. adults used some form of tobacco product in 2015. The report also includes data on tobacco use by race/ethnicity and gender. Higher tobacco use was found for adults living in the Midwest, people with a General Equivalency Diploma (GED), people with annual household incomes under $35,000, those with a disability, uninsured adults or adults insured through Medicaid, adults with serious psychological distress, and those who are lesbian, gay, or bisexual.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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It’s Not Just Heroin Killing Alaskans: Meth Deaths Here Are up Four-Fold
Nov 7, 2017 - Details the continued presence and increased prevalence of methamphetamine use in Alaska. There were 233 deaths related to methamphetamine use in the state from 2008 to 2016; the average from 2014-2016 was four times higher than the average from 2008-2010.
Source: Alaska Dispatch News
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The Joint Commission Reports Increased Electronic Clinical Quality Measure (eCQM) Adoption and Reporting from U.S. Hospitals
Nov 7, 2017 - The Joint Commission's annual report, America's Hospitals: Improving Quality and Safety found that an increased number of hospitals are adopting and reporting electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs). Reporting this data is linked with quality improvement and is voluntary.
Source: The Joint Commission
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