Research Alert: May 31, 2022

Association between Rural Hospital Service Changes and Community Demographics

This brief investigated the association between the proportion of a rural community belonging to an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality-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.

Contact Information:

George H. Pink, PhD
North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center
Phone: 919.843.2728

Additional Resources of Interest: