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Rural Health
Resources by Topic: Access

Rural-Urban Disparities in Health Care in Medicare
Examines rural/urban differences in the quality of healthcare received by Medicare beneficiaries in 2021, with breakdowns by race and ethnicity. Focuses on patient experience and clinical care measures, including screening for and management of health conditions and medication-related issues.
Date: 11/2022
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
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2022 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report
Provides a comprehensive summary and data analysis of healthcare quality and access in the U.S. Addresses access to healthcare, patient safety, person-centered care, care coordination, effective treatment, healthy living, and care affordability. Includes a discussion of rural hospital closures and the impact on the distance required to access selected healthcare services.
Date: 11/2022
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
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Veterans Community Care Program: VA Needs to Strengthen Its Oversight and Improve Data on Its Community Care Network Providers
Describes how the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) monitors contractor compliance with the Veterans Community Care Program network adequacy standards and related requirements. Examines the extent to which the VA's contractors are meeting network adequacy standards. Discusses the experiences of VA medical facility officials when scheduling routine appointments for veterans. Offers recommendations to ensure that contractors report complete performance data and increase the accuracy of community provider information.
Additional links: Full Report
Date: 11/2022
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Government Accountability Office
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Patterns of Health Care Use among Rural-Urban Medicare Beneficiaries Age 85 and Older, 2010-2017
Policy brief examining how rural and urban Medicare beneficiaries age 85+ differ in terms of their socioeconomic and health characteristics that may inform healthcare use. Features statistics on trends in healthcare use, including inpatient and emergency department care, outpatient and prescription services, specialists and dentists, and home health and durable medical equipment, with breakdowns by urban and rural location.
Author(s): Yvonne Jonk, Heidi O'Connor, Amanda Burgess, Carly Milkowski
Date: 11/2022
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Maine Rural Health Research Center
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Rethinking Rurality: Using Hospital Referral Regions to Investigate Rural-Urban Health Outcomes
Examines the relationship between the proportion of rural population served in each of the 306 hospital referral regions (HRRs) and health outcomes, healthcare spending and utilization, and access to and quality of primary care. Explores whether mortality differences in HRRs are associated with differences in price-adjusted Medicare reimbursements, quality of primary care, and access to primary care.
Author(s): Lucy Skinner, Sandra Wong, Carrie Colla
Citation: BMC Health Services Research, 22(1), 1312
Date: 11/2022
Type: Document
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Teledentistry Trends in the United States During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Reviews the use of teledentistry during and following the COVID-19 pandemic in California, Maine, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, and examines reimbursement issues and supports needed to enhance dental care in a post-COVID-19 world. Mentions rural throughout.
Author(s): Miranda Werts, Prashanta Patel, Elizabeth Mertz
Date: 10/2022
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Oral Health Workforce Research Center
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The Financial and Policy Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on U.S. Dental Care Workers
Research brief evaluating trends and differences of the dental healthcare workforce before and after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Assesses the impact of dental healthcare worker (DHCW) shortages by state and geographic region, and mentions rural throughout. Features statistics on wages and total number of employed DHCWs by profession type from 2015-2021, and a state-level map showing percent change in DHCWs from 2019-2021.
Author(s): Sean Boynes, Hayam Megally, Don Clermont, et al.
Date: 10/2022
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: American Institute of Dental Public Health
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An Insurance Profile of Rural America: Chartbook
Provides information on the health insurance status of rural Americans under the age of 65. Describes trends in sources of health insurance coverage, insurance market dynamics in rural communities, and trends in out-of-pocket expenditures. Compares metro and non-metro data on insurance coverage by region and sociodemographic characteristics; the relationship of health status to insurance coverage; affordability; trends in Marketplace and Medicare Advantage coverage offerings at the county level; and more.
Author(s): Timothy McBride, Abigail Barker, Emily Hernandez, et al.
Date: 10/2022
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
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Rural Health Research Recap: Travel Burden to Receive Health Care
Summarizes recent research from Rural Health Research Centers examining travel burdens to receive care. Features statistics from 2017 including distance and time spent in travel for care, with breakdowns by urban or rural location, financial burden of travel, public transportation use by race/ethnicity, and motor vehicle fatalities.
Author(s): Per Ostmo, Jessica Rosencrans
Date: 10/2022
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Rural Health Research Gateway
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The Future of Telehealth After COVID-19: New Opportunities and Challenges
Provides an overview of the current evidence regarding telehealth's impact on equitable access to care and on quality of care, patient outcomes, and cost. Describes the COVID-19 pandemic-related regulatory flexibilities for mental health and substance use disorder services. Discusses the importance of telehealth on primary and specialty care during the public health emergency (PHE). Offers recommendations for Medicare telehealth policies to promote better outcomes for Medicare beneficiaries and value for the Medicare program.
Additional links: Medicare Telehealth Utilization and Spending Impacts 2019-2021, Webinar Recording
Author(s): Julia Harris, Sabah Bhatnagar, Brady Newell, et al.
Date: 10/2022
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Bipartisan Policy Center
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