Types of Rural and Urban Hospitals and Counties Where They Are Located

Recognizing that many rural hospitals are the only health care facility in their communities and that their survival is vital to ensure access to health care, Federal policymakers in the 1980s and 1990s created five special payment designations under Medicare: Critical Access Hospital (CAHs), Medicare Dependent Hospitals (MDHs), Sole Community Hospitals (SCHs), Essential Access Community… Read more »

Association between Rural Hospital Service Changes and Community Demographics

The purpose of the brief, Association between Rural Hospital Service Changes and Community Demographics, was to investigate the association between the proportion of a rural community belonging to an AHRQ-identified priority population and local hospital service changes. Our results suggest that recent trends in service availability are often similar when comparing hospitals in non-metro counties with larger versus smaller priority populations. In aggregate, from 2011-2017, hospitals in non-metro counties generally experienced a net decrease in the availability of obstetric services and skilled nursing services and a net increase in the availability of oncology services, hospital-based outpatient services, orthopedic services, and emergency psychiatric services. Aggregate changes in the availability of home health and chemotherapy were generally smaller in magnitude. These aggregate results are consistent with previous work on rural hospital-based service availability.

Trends in Revenue Sources among Rural Hospitals

Possible issues with existing rural hospital financing models suggest that newer, outpatient-centric payment methods may be more effective in providing financial relief to rural hospitals. In light of this, the NC Rural Health Research Program explores the current financial importance of outpatient care to rural hospitals in the brief, Trends in Revenue Sources among Rural Hospitals.

Specifically, the objective of our study was to estimate changes in outpatient care as a source of revenue for rural hospitals from 2011-2019. Ideally, the results can provide stakeholders and lawmakers with additional support in understanding the contemporary role that outpatient service lines have in rural hospitals, thereby allowing them to develop policies that more effectively support rural health care providers and the communities they serve.

Hospital Readmission Following Care in a Swing Bed

About this project Lead researcher: Mark Holmes, PhD Project funded: September 2012 Project completed: July 2021 Preventable hospital readmissions are a significant problem for patients and insurers. Swing beds are the only post-acute care in many very rural communities but research on the ability of swing bed care to prevent readmission is limited. A better… Read more »

Decline in Inpatient Volume at Rural Hospitals

About this project Authors: Tyler L Malone, George H Pink, George M Holmes This article was originally published in the Journal of Rural Health in March, 2021. doi: 10.1111/jrh.12553. Epub 2020 Dec 31. Abstract Purpose: To investigate (1) all-payer inpatient volume changes at rural hospitals and (2) whether trends in inpatient volume differ by organizational and geographic… Read more »

Rural Informal Safety Net: The Development of a Research and Evaluation Design and a Preliminary Assessment

About this project Research staff: Thomas C. Ricketts & Kerry James Project completed: May 2001 This is a continuation of a multi-center assessment of the Rural Informal Safety Net. During January through August 1999, the North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Program conducted exploratory site visits to four rural North Carolina communities: Bayboro-Pamlico… Read more »

Impacts of Multiple Race Reporting

About this project Lead researcher: Randy Randolph, MRP Project completed: August 2001 This project will investigate the following questions regarding the 1997 revisions to Statistical Policy Directive No. 15, Race and Ethnic Standards for Federal Statistics and Administrative Reporting, a revision of the federal standards for collecting data on race and ethnicity, to be adopted… Read more »

Describing the Health Care Infrastructure in Rural Towns

About this project Lead researcher: Rebecca T. Slifkin, PhD Project completed: February 2001 The goal of this project is to incorporate information from multiple data sources in order to describe more fully the health care infrastructure in rural towns. Provider data, used to place providers within ZIP codes, includes census of physicians, physician assistants, and… Read more »