University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center

Current Projects

  • Access and Quality of Care for Rural Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
    Although rates of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are substantially higher in rural areas, there has been limited research on healthcare access and quality issues for individuals with COPD who live in rural communities. This project aims to improve the accessibility and quality of care for rural COPD patients.
    Topics: Chronic diseases and conditions, Quality
  • Addressing Rural Social Isolation as a Health and Mortality Risk Factor
    This project aims to describe rural/urban differences in the prevalence of social isolation, as well as to identify challenges and strategies related to addressing rural social isolation in order to inform policy-making.
    Topics: Aging, Health promotion and disease prevention
  • Caring for Caregivers: Available Support for Unpaid Caregivers in Rural Areas
    This project aims to describe rural-urban differences in the prevalence and intensity of informal caregiving for older adults and associated socio-demographic correlates and to identify potential policy interventions to improve the quality of life and health outcomes of rural caregivers.
    Topics: Aging, Home health, Long term care
  • Measuring the Quality of Swing-Bed Care in Critical Access Hospitals
    This project will identify quality measures to be used by Critical Access Hospitals to assess the quality of care provided to their swing-bed patients, and recommend appropriate uses of the measures.
    Topics: Hospitals and clinics, Quality
  • Rural Implications of Quality-Based Physician Payment Reform
    The purpose of this project is to assess existing national data about the quality of care provided by rural physicians, and to determine what additional information will be needed as CMS moves towards inclusion of all physicians in payment reforms based on quality.
    Topics: Physicians, Quality
  • Rural-Urban Differences in Opioid-Affected Pregnancies and Births
    This analysis aims to combat the opioid epidemic in rural communities by describing the rates and predictors of non-medical opioid use prior to and during pregnancy and maternal diagnosis of opioid use disorder at birth, based on rural or urban maternal residence and rural or urban hospital location.
    Topics: Maternal and child health, Substance abuse, Women