Rapid Response to Requests for Rural Data Analysis

Research Products & Journal Articles

Browse the full list of research publications from this Rural Health Research Center.

Products – Freely accessible products include policy briefs, fact sheets, full reports, chartbooks, and interactive data websites.

Journal Articles – Articles in peer-reviewed journals may require a subscription or affiliation with a subscribing library. For these publications, Gateway lists the article citation, a brief summary, a link to additional information and access to the full-text of the article, if available.



  • Rural Hospitalizations for COVID-19: Snapshot on December 10, 2020
    Date: 12/2020
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services data were analyzed to compare rural and urban hospitals on two metrics: 1) the percentage of hospitalized patients with COVID-19, and 2) the percentage of hospital beds occupied by patients that have COVID-19.
  • Rural Hospitals Have Higher Percentages of Patients with COVID-19
    Date: 12/2020
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services data were analyzed to compare the percentage of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 in rural versus urban hospitals.
  • Medicare Advantage Enrollment Update 2019
    Policy Brief
    Date: 10/2020
    The annual update on Medicare Advantage (MA) shows that both metropolitan and nonmetropolitan enrollment has continued to grow for more than 10 years. However, the rate of growth has been higher in nonmetropolitan counties for the past two years. Local Preferred Provider Organization plans account for nearly half of nonmetropolitan MA enrollment.
  • A Comparison of Rural and Urban Specialty Hospitals
    Policy Brief
    Date: 09/2020
    This brief describes key differences between specialty hospitals located in rural versus urban areas.
  • Urban Hospitals with a High Percentage of Inpatient Days for Rural Patients
    Policy Brief
    Date: 09/2020
    The purpose of this brief is to describe characteristics of urban hospitals with a high percentage of inpatient days for rural patients and to compare how they differ from urban hospitals with lower percentages of rural inpatient days.
  • Telepharmacy Rules and Statutes: A 3-Year Update for all 50 States
    Policy Brief
    Date: 07/2020
    This policy brief analyzed administrative rules and legislative statutes governing each state's pharmacy practice. Key features of telepharmacy regulations were investigated for comparative analysis. Twenty-one states currently authorize retail telepharmacy, but between these states the regulatory activity varies considerably.
  • Geographic Variation in the 2018 Profitability of Urban and Rural Hospitals
    Policy Brief
    Date: 04/2020
    This study describes the geographic variability in 2018 profitability of Critical Access Hospitals, other rural hospitals, and urban Prospective Payment System hospitals by census region, census division, and state.
  • Rural Hospitals with Long-Term Unprofitability
    Policy Brief
    Date: 04/2020
    The purpose of this study is to examine the characteristics of rural hospitals that had negative total margins in 2016, 2017, and 2018. We examined net patient revenue, Medicare payment classification, region, and state for 311 rural hospitals.
  • Understanding the Broader Context of Rural Hospitals and Profitability
    Date: 04/2020
    The intent of this infographic is to quantify rural hospital profitability in the broader context of all hospitals. This infographic compares the number of rural and urban hospitals and rural and urban operating revenue and operating income.



  • Rural-Urban Variations in Medicare Live Discharge Patterns from Hospice, 2012-2013
    Policy Brief
    Date: 09/2017
    This brief 1) provides an overview of the geographic distribution of "freestanding" (i.e., rather than those co-located in a hospital, home health agency, or skilled nursing facility) rural and urban hospices and, 2) explores live discharge rates for hospices operating in rural versus urban areas.
  • CMS Hospital Quality Star Rating: For 762 Rural Hospitals, No Stars is the Problem
    Policy Brief
    Date: 06/2017
    The purpose of this brief is to look more closely at the characteristics of rural hospitals with and without CMS Hospital Quality Star Ratings to help inform ongoing discussions about the usefulness of the quality star rating for comparing hospital quality and possible ways to improve the star rating initiative.
  • Rural Health Snapshot (2017)
    Date: 05/2017
    The Rural Health Snapshot (2017) updates the 2010 Rural Health Snapshot. The document is a data sheet that compares a selection of health and healthcare access indicators for populations in rural and urban areas.




  • Rural Health Snapshot 2010
    Date: 08/2010
    The Rural Health Snapshot displays selected indicators of access to healthcare, health behavior/risk factors, and mortality rates, comparing rural to urban residents.


  • Profile of Sole Community Pharmacists' Prescription Sales and Overall Financial Position
    Date: 08/2009
    We conducted a survey of community pharmacists who owned the only retail outlets in their communities. Pharmacist-owners in independent pharmacies located at least 10 miles from the next closest retail pharmacy were interviewed to determine their reliance on prescription sales and to understand their stores' current financial positions.