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Healthcare Access in Rural Communities – Resources

Selected recent or important resources focusing on Healthcare Access in Rural Communities.

Geographic Access to Health Care for Rural Medicare Beneficiaries: A National Study
Policy brief exploring rural and urban healthcare, geographic access to providers, and types of providers seen by Medicare beneficiaries based on Medicare administrative data from 2014. Charts offer rural and urban comparisons of characteristics of beneficiaries, number of visits by region, number of visits by race/ethnicity, visits by provider type, and travel distance and time.
Author(s): Eric H. Larson, C. Holly A. Andrilla, Lisa A. Garberson, David V. Evans
Date: 09/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
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Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies (RMOMS) Program
Describes a pilot grant program designed to improve maternal and neonatal health in rural communities by collecting data and supporting the development of financially sustainable and coordinated network models. Aims to make maternal and obstetrics care more accessible through increased use of telehealth and specialty care. Fact sheet provides information on the activities of 3 rural networks funded through the RMOMS program.
Additional links: Fact Sheet, October 2020
Date: 08/2021
Type: Website
Sponsoring organizations: Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, Maternal and Child Health Bureau
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Rural-Urban Variations in Travel Burdens for Care: Findings from the 2017 National Household Travel Survey
Provides estimates of the distance traveled and time spent on one-way trips for medical and dental care, examines how rural residents' travel behaviors vary by sociodemographic and geographic characteristics, and evaluates factors associated with a high travel burden for medical and dental care among rural residents. Features statistics with breakdowns by time and distance traveled, age, sex, race/ethnicity, household income, and rural or urban residence.
Author(s): Marvellous Akinlotan, Kristin Primm, Nima Khodakarami, Jane Bolin, Alva O. Ferdinand
Date: 07/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Southwest Rural Health Research Center
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Access to Affordable Care in Rural America: Current Trends and Key Challenges
Describes geographic and demographic challenges that contribute to healthcare access and health disparities in rural areas. Covers patterns of insurance coverage between rural and urban areas, healthcare provider shortages, and rural hospital vulnerability and closures. Discusses programs and services supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to reduce barriers to care in rural communities, including telehealth, healthcare workforce programs, and Rural Health Clinics and community health centers.
Author(s): Gina Turrini, D.Keith Branham, Lucy Chen, et al.
Date: 07/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
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Small Area Health Insurance Estimates: 2019
Reports on health insurance coverage in the U.S. in 2018 and changes between 2018 and 2019, as well as changes between 2013 and 2019. Includes maps showing county-level uninsured rates.
Author(s): Sara Robinson, Katherine Ann Willyard
Date: 06/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: U.S. Census Bureau
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MedPAC Report to the Congress: Medicare and the Health Care Delivery System, June 2021
Evaluates Medicare payment issues and offers recommendations to the U.S. Congress. Chapter 5 presents an interim report on Medicare beneficiaries' access to care in rural areas. Also includes chapters on Medicare Advantage benchmark policy, alternative payment models, private equity and Medicare, the skilled nursing facility value-based purchasing program, indirect medical education payments, Medicare coverage of vaccines, separately payable drugs in the hospital outpatient prospective payment system, clinical laboratory fee schedule payment rates, and the relationship between clinician services and other Medicare services.
Additional links: Executive Summary
Date: 06/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Medicare Payment Advisory Commission
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Evaluation of the Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies Program: First Annual Report
Reports on the Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies (RMOMS) program awardees' planning year 2019-2020. Introduces the program, the need for increased access to maternal and obstetric care in rural areas, and the program's strategic goals. Offers an overview of the 3 RMOMS awardees in Texas, Missouri, and New Mexico and rural maternal health challenges in each area.
Additional links: Executive Summary
Date: 04/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Health Resources and Services Administration
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Medicaid and Rural Health
Provides an overview of rural residents, including socioeconomic characteristics, insurance status, and health status. Explores the availability of healthcare providers in rural areas, with a focus on primary care providers and hospitals. Discusses the role of Medicaid in rural health, as well as Medicaid policies and services that are important for providing healthcare in rural communities.
Date: 04/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission
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Women's Sexual and Reproductive Health Services: Key Findings from the 2020 KFF Women's Health Survey
Presents selected findings from the 2020 KFF Women's Health Survey with a focus on coverage and use of reproductive and sexual health services. Discusses the use and coverage of contraceptives, access to sexual and reproductive healthcare, sexual and reproductive health counseling and education, and more. Includes rural data throughout.
Author(s): Brittni Frederiksen, Usha Ranji, Alina Salganicoff, Michelle Long
Date: 04/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Kaiser Family Foundation
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OBGYNs and the Provision of Sexual and Reproductive Health Care: Key Findings from a National Survey
Reports on a nationwide survey of obstetrician-gynecologists (OBGYNs) regarding sexual and reproductive healthcare, covering screening practices; provision of contraception, abortion, and sexually transmitted infection care; and the effects of policy on healthcare access and quality. Analyzes survey data from 1,210 OBGYN participants on contraception provision and other services, access to specific services based on regional and urban/rural location, provider characteristics and experiences, Medicaid coverage, and more.
Author(s): Gabriela Weigel, Brittni Frederiksen, Usha Ranji, Alina Salganicoff
Date: 02/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Kaiser Family Foundation
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Additional resources are available related to this guide. See the full list of resources by topic for:


Last Updated: 9/7/2021