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Rural Health Information Hub

Healthcare Access in Rural Communities – Resources

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

Health Care Access Barriers Among Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Populations of Eight Geographically Diverse States, 2018
Reports on healthcare access and demographic differences in metro and nonmetro populations. Utilizes Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data to observe differences in noncore, micropolitan, and metropolitan sociodemographics and access barriers such as insurance, cost, non-financial delays in care, and more.
Author(s): Whitney E. Zahnd, Peiyin Hung, Elizabeth L. Crouch, Radhika Ranganathan, Jan M. Eberth
Citation: Journal of Rural Health
Date: 06/2024
Type: Document
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Updated Analysis: Using Population-Based Outcome Measures to Assess the Impact of Telehealth Expansion on Medicare Beneficiaries' Access to Care and Quality of Care
Explores the association between telehealth use, quality of care, and access to care when both telehealth and in-person visits are available to fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare beneficiaries. Compares data from the second half of 2018 and 2019 to the second half of 2022 by the level of telehealth utilization in Hospital Service Areas (HSAs). Describes the effects of telehealth for urban and rural beneficiaries and differentiates between telehealth utilization for behavioral and non-behavioral health services. Updates a June 2023 report that analyzed data from 2021.
Author(s): Tanvi Rao, Angshuman Gooptu, Karin Johnson, Guido Cataife, Steven Susana-Castillo
Date: 06/2024
Type: Document
Sponsoring organizations: American Institutes for Research, Medicare Payment Advisory Commission
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MedPAC Report to the Congress: Medicare and the Health Care Delivery System, June 2024
Evaluates Medicare payment issues and provides recommendations to the U.S. Congress. Covers approaches for updating fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare's physician fee schedule (PFS) payments and incentivizing participation in alternative payment models; provider networks and prior authorization in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans; an assessment of the relative completeness of MA encounter data and other data sources; Medicare coverage and payments for medical software; alternate approaches to lower Medicare payment rates for select conditions in inpatient rehabilitation facilities; and Medicare's Acute Hospital Care at Home program. Includes rural references throughout.
Additional links: Executive Summary
Date: 06/2024
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Medicare Payment Advisory Commission
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Risk Factors for Poor Health Among U.S. Older Adults in Rural and Urban Areas: Injury, Food Insecurity, and Lack of Social and Emotional Support
Examines differences in select risk factors for poor health between rural and urban older adults and among rural older adults, with breakdowns by several sociodemographic characteristics. Features statistics including percentage of older adults experiencing risk factors for poor health, injury and significant injury, food insecurity, and lack of social and emotional support.
Author(s): Ingrid Jacobson, Alexis Swendener, Megan Lahr, Alyssa Fritz, Carrie Henning-Smith
Date: 06/2024
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
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Navigating Geographical Disparities: Access to Obstetric Hospitals in Maternity Care Deserts and Across the United States
Examines disparities related to maternity care access by analyzing travel distances to obstetric care across the United States. Provides data to nearest obstetric hospital by census tract, with further breakdowns according to maternity care desert (MCD) designation, rurality, race/ethnicity, and travel time. Includes U.S. maps showing spatial clusters of distance and travel time to obstetric care.
Author(s): Jazmin Fontenot, Christina Brigance, Ripley Lucas, Ashley Stoneburner
Citation: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 24, 350
Date: 05/2024
Type: Document
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The Future of Broadband Affordability
Presents a recording of a May 2, 2024, hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Communications, Media, and Broadband. Describes federal approaches to increase broadband access and affordability. Discusses the state of broadband affordability programs, the impact of a potential lapse or end of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), and strategies to address shortfalls in broadband affordability programs.
Additional links: Blair Levin, New Street Research - Testimony, Jennifer Case Nevarez, Community Learning Network - Testimony, Kathryn de Wit, Pew Charitable Trusts - Testimony
Date: 05/2024
Type: Video/Multimedia
Sponsoring organization: Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
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A Lack of Behavioral Health Providers in Medicare and Medicaid Impedes Enrollees' Access to Care
Examines the availability of behavioral health providers who actively serve Medicare or Medicaid enrollees in 20 counties, 10 urban and 10 rural, across 10 states in 2021. Explores the extent to which traditional Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and Medicaid enrollees received behavioral health services and whether they used telehealth or in-person services. Offers recommendations to encourage more behavioral health providers to serve these enrollees and expand coverage to additional behavioral health provider types. Includes rural and urban comparisons throughout.
Additional links: Report Highlights
Date: 03/2024
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Office of Inspector General (HHS)
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Loud and Clear: Improving Access to Hearing Care in Rural America
Discusses barriers to rural hearing care access and the importance of hearing conservation. Features a hearing clinic in South Dakota, a telehealth program in Alaska, and a nationally available agriculture safety program working to address rural hearing care.
Author(s): Allee Mead
Citation: Rural Monitor
Date: 03/2024
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Rural Health Information Hub
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Hearing on Enhancing Access to Care at Home in Rural and Underserved Communities
Recording of a March 12, 2024, House Committee on Ways and Means hearing regarding opportunities and challenges to enhance access to care in patients' homes and modernizing care in rural and underserved communities, with a focus on telehealth and health information technology. Features testimony from two rural patients and representatives from Intermountain Health; Cadence, a company with expertise in chronic care management through remote physiologic monitoring; and Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
Additional links: Ateev Mehrotra, Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center - Testimony, Bell Maddux, Home Dialysis Patient - Testimony, Chris Altchek, Cadence - Testimony, Nathan Starr, Intermountain Health - Testimony, Roy Underhill, Hospital at Home Patient - Testimony
Date: 03/2024
Type: Video/Multimedia
Sponsoring organization: House Ways and Means Committee
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Rural–Urban Differences in Out-of-Network Treatment Initiation and Engagement Rates for Substance Use Disorders
Explores disparities in access to substance use disorder treatments among privately insured individuals in rural and urban areas between 2016-2018. Compares rates of initial and ongoing treatment for alcohol use disorder, opioid use disorder, and other drug use disorders overall and from out-of-network providers for urban and rural patients.
Author(s): Eli Raver, Sheldon M. Retchin, Yiting Li, Andrew D. Carlo, Wendy Y. Xu
Citation: Health Services Research
Date: 03/2024
Type: Document
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Last Updated: 6/17/2024