For decades, health care has been shifting from inpatient to outpatient settings. Ambulatory care refers to medical services performed same day on an outpatient basis (without admission to a hospital or other facility) and includes services ranging from wellness and disease management to surgical treatment and rehabilitation. These services are generally provided to keep patients healthy and out of the hospital.
Although it is known that access to ambulatory care is important, not much is known about the ambulatory care that rural Medicare patients typically receive. This chartbook uses available Medicare claims data to describe facility-based (i.e., excludes private practitioners) ambulatory care provided to rural Medicare beneficiaries and includes claims, costs, and common diagnoses.