Maine Rural Health Research Center

Current Projects

  • Acuity Differences among Newly Admitted Rural and Urban Nursing Home Residents
    This study will use nursing home assessment data to examine rural-urban differences in resident acuity upon admission; whether differences persist among newly admitted Medicare and non-Medicare residents; and whether and how nursing home, local health system, and market characteristics are associated with differences in resident acuity.
    Topics: Aging, Long-term care
  • Eligibility Transitions under the Affordable Care Act: Policy Considerations for Ensuring Coverage Continuity Among Rural Residents
    This study will assess rural versus urban income volatility, the potential effects on states' efforts to ensure continuous health insurance coverage to individuals enrolled in Medicaid expansions or Exchange plans under the Affordable Care Act, and develop policy recommendations to address any observed differences.
    Topics: Medicaid and S-CHIP, Uninsured and underinsured
  • Health Care Use and Access among Rural and Urban Elderly Medicare Beneficiaries
    This project will examine rural-urban differences in healthcare use and access to healthcare services among elderly Medicare enrollees using the 2011-2013 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey. We also will identify the socioeconomic and health factors that may place rural seniors at risk for poor healthcare access.
    Topics: Aging, Medicare
  • Healthcare Use and Access Among Rural & Urban Non-elderly Disabled Medicare Beneficiaries
    This project will explore healthcare use and barriers to healthcare access among disabled Medicare beneficiaries under 65 in rural and urban areas. The study will be based on quantitative analyses of the 2009-2013 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey.
    Topics: Disabilities, Health disparities and health equity, Medicare
  • Impact of the Opioid Crisis on Rural Emergency Departments
    This study will use data from the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample and information from a panel of rural emergency care experts to assess the impact of the opioid crisis on rural emergency departments. Findings will inform policies designed to help rural healthcare systems and communities address the growing problem of opioid abuse.
    Topics: Emergency medical services and trauma, Mental and behavioral health, Substance use and treatment
  • Rural Health Clinic Financial Performance and Productivity
    This study will use Medicare cost reports for independent and provider-based clinics to provide a detailed national picture of the financial and operational performance of RHCs and describe variations in performance related to revenue, costs, staffing, payer mix, productivity levels, and hours of operation across independent and provider-based clinics. The project will also develop measures that can be used to benchmark RHC performance over time.
    Topics: Medicare, Rural Health Clinics (RHCs)
  • Rural Health Clinics Chartbook
    This project will produce a comprehensive, descriptive chartbook detailing the characteristics and status of rural health clinics (RHCs) nationally. It will also assess the use of secondary data to construct a national set of indicators for RHCs and identify gaps in our knowledge that cannot be addressed using secondary data.
    Topic: Rural Health Clinics (RHCs)
  • Understanding Differences in Rural and Urban Adolescent and Young Adult Substance Use
    Using National Survey of Drug Use and Health data, we’ll examine rural-urban adolescent/young adult substance use differences. While substance use has declined among all adolescents in recent years, it’s unclear whether the trends apply to rural adolescents/young adults who have historically higher substance use rates than their urban counterparts.
    Topic: Substance use and treatment
  • Understanding Rural-Urban Mortality Differences
    This study will address rural-urban mortality gaps in our understanding of rural mortality disparities using the 1985-2009 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), linked to national death certificate data, to explore the individual-level characteristics and health behaviors of rural and urban adults and their association with mortality.
    Topic: Health disparities and health equity