Characteristics of Medicaid Beneficiaries Who Use Rural Health Clinics

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For almost four decades, Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) (currently numbering about 4,100) have served patients from underserved rural areas. Although Medicaid is an important payer for RHCs, little is known about Medicaid patients and the services provided to them partly because of the complexity of identifying claims generated from RHCs in Medicaid claims data sources.

Previous research conducted by the North Carolina Rural Health Research Program enumerates a method of identifying RHC claims based on up to four fields in Medicaid claims. In this brief, Characteristics of Medicaid Beneficiaries Who Use Rural Health Clinics, we follow suggestions made in the previous methods research to identify claims from RHCs or those from individual providers under RHC programs and describe the population who used RHC services from four Medicaid states. This description of RHC users should assist policy makers and researchers in understanding and planning for the population who receives services from RHCs.

Read the brief