RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis

Current Projects

  • An Insurance Profile of Rural America: A Chartbook
    This chartbook will describe current conditions and recent trends in rural health insurance by drawing from census data and other sources. Tables and maps, accompanied by bulleted policy takeaways, will compare rural and urban coverage sources, the degree of competition among issuers, and the share of the population who are underinsured.
    Topic: Uninsured and underinsured
  • Continuous Services in the Absence of Retail Pharmacies in Rural Communities
    This project will identify communities with and without pharmacies by rurality and describe the differences in population and market characteristics of communities with and without any pharmacies. Research findings regarding "pharmacy deserts" will inform alternative methods of securing services based on community characteristics.
    Topics: Health services, Healthcare access, Medicare Part D, Pharmacy and prescription drugs
  • Financial Risk Assumption Among Rural Healthcare Providers
    This project will assess rural/urban providers' participation in different payment models and assumption of financial risk in the Medicare Quality Payment Program. We will conduct qualitative interviews to examine rural providers' motivations and preparedness for participating in different risk-bearing payment models.
    Topics: Health reform, Healthcare financing, Rural Health Clinics (RHCs)
  • How Does Participation in Medicare Accountable Care Organizations Affect Rural Hospital Financial Outcomes?
    This project will examine the impact of Medicare Accountable Care Organizations' (ACOs') participation on rural hospitals' financial outcomes. Findings from this project will provide policy-relevant information on how ACO participation affects rural hospitals' financial bottom lines, contributing to further program design.
    Topics: Care management, Health reform, Health services, Hospitals and clinics, Medicare
  • Location and Characteristics of Nursing Homes in the Rural and Urban U.S.
    This project will examine rural and urban nursing home availability; assess the nursing home bed supply relative to the elderly population in rural and urban counties; summarize resident and nursing home characteristics; and analyze the relationship between the rural location of nursing homes and resident and nursing home characteristics.
    Topics: Aging, Health services, Healthcare access, Healthcare financing, Long-term care, Medicare
  • Medicare Beneficiary Access to Prescription Drugs Under Part D
    This study will build on RUPRI Center work describing patterns of enrollment into Medicare Part D plans (including access to zero deductible plans) by using transaction files to analyze how medications are actually acquired and implications for access to local pharmacy services.
    Topics: Medicare, Medicare Part D
  • What Makes Successful Rural Accountable Care Organizations Successful?
    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services plans to shift at least 50% of traditional Medicare spending into alternative payment models by 2018. Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) represent a popular model in both the Medicare and Medicaid programs. This study used multiple methods to find what makes a successful ACO.
    Topics: Medicare, Quality