Current Research Projects

Browse all of the research projects still underway. Learn more about the research questions guiding each study, the lead researcher for each, and when the Research Center anticipates releasing completed product(s) under each project. Current projects are listed by the date they were funded by the Federal Office of Rural Healthy Policy. You can also access a list of all previously completed research projects, by date.

Projects Funded September 2021 - (28)

  • A Closer Examination of Rural Hospital Bypass
    Rural Health Equity Research Center
    This project will estimate the rural hospital bypass rate using all-payer claims data for a set of states and compare patients based on the inpatient treatments and procedures received relative to those routinely provided by rural facilities.
  • Assessing Geographic Variability in Key Indicators of Water Quality and Air Quality: A Comparison of Urban vs. Rural Communities
    Rural and Minority Health Research Center
    The purpose of this project is to compare air and water quality indicators across U.S. Census tracts specifically focusing on rural vs. urban differences.
  • Changes in Hospital Services Offered After Mergers, Acquisition and Affiliations
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Hospitals have affiliated with systems in increasing numbers since 2007, as of 2016 reaching 56.1 percent of nonmetropolitan prospective payment system hospitals and 42.8 percent of critical access hospitals. This project will examine resulting changes in services offered by rural hospitals, hypothesizing shifts of some services to regional hospitals and growth in some service lines.
  • Dentist Supply, Dental Care Utilization, and Oral Health Among Rural and Urban U.S. Residents: Exploring Changes in the Past 15 Years
    WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    This project will describe the national supply of the rural and urban dental workforce and investigate whether rural adults, compared to urban adults, report lower dental care utilization, higher prevalence of dental disease or both. This study will also look at whether disparities in oral health care and supply have changed over the past 15 years.
  • Diabetes Management in Urban and Rural Areas of the U.S.
    Rural and Underserved Health Research Center
    This project will use the IBM MarketScan database to examine differences in type 2 diabetes prevalence and monitoring for a commercially insured sample. It will also employ definitions from the Health Effectiveness Data and Information Set guidelines for comprehensive diabetes care to determine if rural residents are more or less likely to meet recommended standards for type 2 diabetes monitoring and control.
  • Differences in Rural and Urban Hospital Cost Structures: Evidence and Implications
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    The project will compare fixed-to-variable cost ratios in U.S. rural and urban hospitals. We hypothesize that rural hospitals will realize proportionally greater fixed costs than urban hospitals, suggesting important hospital payment system implications.
  • Disparities in Screening, Prevention, and Management of Cardiovascular Disease in Rural and Urban Primary Care
    Rural and Underserved Health Research Center
    This study will use a large national primary care registry to compare cardiovascular disease (CVD) screening, prevention, and management quality measures between rural and urban primary care practices. It will also assess for disparities by patient composition (race/ethnicity, insurance) of the practice.
  • Estimation of the Fixed and Variable Costs of a Rural Emergency Hospital
    North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center
    This project will: 1) inform the design of CMS Rural Emergency Hospital (REH) payment methods, particularly the Medicare monthly additional facility payment; 2) estimate patient break-even volumes for the long-run financial sustainability of REHs; and; 3) provide a tool that rural hospitals can use to estimate the cost of operating a REH.
  • Factors Predicting Swing Bed Versus Skilled Nursing Facility Use
    North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center
    This project will update our 2014 brief: Discharge to Swing Bed or Skilled Nursing Facility: Who Goes Where? In addition to examining health conditions of patients discharged from rural Prospective Payment System (PPS) hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) to swing beds and skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), the current project will also look to see what has changed over time and whether race and ethnicity, sex, or age explain differences.
  • Following the Money: Do Block Grant Resources Reach Rural Communities?
    Rural Health Equity Research Center
    This project will apply a mixed methods design to describe the distribution of block grant resources from federal agencies through states to the local level in rural and non-rural communities in the United States. Findings could guide federal agencies and policy makers to develop strategies to more effectively target block grant resources to ensure that the needs of vulnerable rural populations are addressed.
  • How are Rural Health Clinics Serving Pediatric and Obstetrical Medicaid Populations?
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    This project will examine the roles of independent and provider-based Rural Health Clinics in serving pediatric and obstetrical patients covered by state Medicaid programs.
  • Improving Racial Equity for Rural Mothers and Infants
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    The purpose of this project is to assess differences in maternal and infant health outcomes and access to perinatal care, among urban and rural counties. We will also compare health outcomes and availability of services, including evidence-based services and supports, between rural counties that are majority Black, Indigenous, and People of Color with those that are majority white.
  • Palliative Care in the Rural U.S.
    WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    This project will describe the availability of palliative care services in rural hospitals and community settings using data from the American Hospital Association Annual Survey, interviews with palliative care providers, and a survey of rural hospitals without palliative care services.
  • Rural and Racial/Ethnic Disparities in COVID-19 Mortality Rates and Associations with Community Characteristics
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    This project examines rural and racial/ethnic disparities in COVID-19 mortality rates during the peak of COVID-19 deaths (December 2020-January 2021). We will examine mortality rates across non-metropolitan and metropolitan counties overall and stratified by racial/ethnic composition and U.S. census region, and spatial regression methods will be used to identify community characteristics (e.g., rurality, sociodemographic, health conditions, and health care access) associated with mortality rates at the county level.
  • Rural Poverty and Health: A Chartbook
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    This chartbook will use nationally representative surveys and county-level data to provide a comprehensive overview of the health and wellbeing of rural Americans living in poverty.
  • Rural-Urban Differences in Medicaid Utilization
    North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center
    Nationwide, approximately 1 in 4 rural residents are insured by Medicaid, yet we lack basic understanding of rural-urban differences in Medicaid utilization.
  • Rural-Urban Differences in Performance of Clinicians Participating in MIPS
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    This project will use quantitative methods to compare MIPS performance and reported measures for clinicians working in rural and urban areas, overall, and by practice size; evaluate differences in spending per beneficiary, overall, and stratified by drugs and medical services for rural and urban clinicians participating in MIPS; and compare MIPS performance and spending for clinicians serving a large proportion of racial/ethnic minorities in rural and urban areas.
  • Rural-Urban Differences in Three Domains of Access to Health Care Services
    Rural and Minority Health Research Center
    This study proposes to leverage 2018 and 2019 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data to examine rural-urban and racial/ethnic differences within rural in three domains of access to health care services (affordability, accommodation, and acceptability) that are less frequently examined in population-based surveys.
  • Rural-Urban Disparities in Mental Health Access and Quality in the United States
    Rural and Minority Health Research Center
    The purpose of this project is to document the recent trends of mental health care access and quality in urban and rural communities and to assess the intersectionality of residence rurality and race/ethnicity on disparities in mental health care access and quality.
  • Rural/Urban and Racial/Ethnic Inequities in Patient-Reported Health Care Access and Quality among Medicare Beneficiaries with Lung or Colorectal Cancer
    Rural and Underserved Health Research Center
    Incidence and mortality for colorectal and lung cancer are higher among rural versus urban residents, but many rural cancer patients lack accessible, high-quality care. This study will 1) Identify rural/urban inequities in Medicare cancer patient-reported health care access and quality and 2) Determine if rural racial/ethnic minority patients have worse health care access and quality than rural White patients.
  • Rural/Urban Differences in Health and Health Care Access for LGBT Adults
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    The purpose of this project is to identify rural/urban differences in health and health care access for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) adults. We will also identify within-rural differences among LGBT adults by race, ethnicity, age, disability status, and socio-economic status. Finally, we will identify examples of best practices supporting LGBT health and wellness in rural areas.
  • Rural/Urban Differences in Postpartum Health Insurance, Healthcare Use, and Health Outcomes
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    The purpose of this project is to identify rural/urban differences in health insurance, healthcare use, and health outcomes among postpartum individuals, and to describe policy-relevant implications or strategies to improve insurance coverage, receipt of recommended healthcare, and, ultimately, health outcomes among rural residents who give birth. With a lens towards health equity, all analyses will be stratified by race/ethnicity and income.
  • Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) penetration in rural vs. urban healthcare settings in the U.S.
    Rural Health Equity Research Center
    This study will include an analysis of 2018/2019 Medicare, Medicaid and Commercial claims to compare the penetration of Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) and its different components in rural compared to urban healthcare settings. Within the overarching analysis, the study team will examine the type of interventions conducted within the SBIRT framework stratified by provider type, healthcare setting, and rural and urban provider ZIP codes. Findings will be analyzed within the context of county-level substance use rates, historical enactment of state SBIRT billing codes, overdoses, and alcohol poisoning-based hospital admissions contrasting trends in SBIRT administration with a proxy for community need.
  • Specialist Physicians in the Rural and Urban U.S.: Supply, Distribution, and Access
    WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    This project will describe the geographic distribution (rural/urban, regional, and intra-rural) of specialist physicians who care for patients experiencing conditions that account for the top four leading causes of rural mortality. It will also explore how patients in rural communities that lack these specialists obtain needed care.
  • The Direct Care Workforce in Rural Areas
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    In this study, we will measure the supply of long-term care services and supports (LTSS) direct care workers relative to older adult populations in rural and urban areas and measure employer and industry turnover among LTSS direct care workers. We will also explore how compensation levels – including wages and employer-based health insurance – are related to and predict worker turnover in the LTSS direct care workforce in rural and urban areas.
  • Third Party Negotiated Pricing in Rural and Urban Hospitals
    Rural and Underserved Health Research Center
    We will use third party negotiated pricing information to compare prices in urban and rural hospitals, across a variety of common services. Because there has been poor compliance with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requirement to publish third party negotiated pricing, we will also examine if the availability of this information differs for rural and urban hospitals.
  • Three Models of a Rural Emergency Hospital
    North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center
    This project will use secondary data about small rural emergency departments and expert opinion to develop three clinical and operational models of a Rural Emergency Hospital (REH). The REH models will be based on case mix, service mix, patient volume, clinical staffing, and technology.
  • Treatment, Provider, and Cost Differences for Rural and Urban Patients with Opioid Use Disorder and Medicaid Insurance Across the U.S.
    WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    This project will analyze Medicaid claims data to compare the treatment that rural and urban patients with opioid use disorder receive, documenting the workforce providing care, the distance that patients travel to receive care, and the cost of care. Findings from this study can be used to improve policies regarding opioid use disorder treatment.

Projects Funded September 2020 - (40)

  • Ambulance Deserts: Addressing Geographic Disparities in the Provision of Ambulance Services
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    This two-year study aims to identify geographic disparities in accessing ambulance services by building a database of ambulance service locations in year one and identifying and creating maps of ambulance deserts within each of the states in year two.
  • An Insurance Profile of Rural America: A Chartbook
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    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.
  • Assessing Cancer Care Coordination in Rural Health Clinics During a Pandemic
    Rural and Minority Health Research Center
    This project will aim to understand how Rural Health Clinics perceive and implement evidence-based cancer screening and treatment and related intervention strategies before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Association of Telehealth Technology and Financial Performance in Rural Hospitals
    Rural Telehealth Evaluation Center
    American Hospital Association telehealth capability data will be merged with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services cost information and other databases to see if having telehealth technology is associated with improved hospital financial performance via increased revenue and profitability and access to healthcare services for rural residents.
  • Availability of Healthcare Infrastructure in Minoritized Racial/Ethnic Groups
    Rural and Minority Health Research Center
    This analysis will compare the likelihood that selected healthcare infrastructure elements are available within rural and urban ZIP Code Tabulation Areas that contain versus do not contain a high proportion of historically disadvantaged minority residents.
  • Characteristics of Buprenorphine Therapy Among Commercially-Insured Pregnant and Postpartum Women
    Rural Health Equity Research Center
    This project will analyze claims from a national commercial insurance database to characterize buprenorphine therapy initiation persistence and adherence among pregnant and postpartum women with opioid use disorder (OUD) and assess differences in buprenorphine OUD treatment characteristics among rural and urban pregnant/postpartum women.
  • Comparing Utilization and Quality of Home Health Care Between Medicare Fee-for-Service and Medicare Advantage Beneficiaries by Rural-Urban Status
    WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    This project examines differences in home health use and quality by enrollment in Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) versus Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. Findings will include information on rural-urban and intra-rural variation in home health care to inform policies on access, payment, and quality for Medicare FFS and MA plans.
  • Comparison of Rural Hospital Closures and the Communities Served, 1990-2020
    North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center
    This project will examine rural hospital closures during three decades to profile community characteristics, health status, health care services, and resources available in communities where rural hospitals have closed
  • Continuous Services in the Absence of Retail Pharmacies in Rural Communities
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    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.
  • Current State of Remote Patient Monitoring: A Landscape Analysis
    Rural Telehealth Evaluation Center
    The use and reimbursement of remote patient monitoring (RPM) has changed drastically in the last decade. This study aims to summarize the current state of telehealth RPM services provided in the U.S. healthcare systems and summarize how telehealth RPM have been utilized in the literature, along with a case study of recent RPM reimbursement rates.
  • EB THNP/SAT TNGP, SB TNGP, and EB TNGP Measure and Data Activities
    Rural Telehealth Research Center
    The project will collect ongoing data from Evidence Based Tele-Behavioral Health Network Program and Substance Abuse Treatment Telehealth Network Grant Program participants; analyze School Based Telehealth Network Grant Program data for publications; and identify candidate data elements for a new Evidence Based Telehealth Network Grant Program.
  • Evaluating the Role of Tele-Emergency Care in Healthcare Costs and Long-Term Outcomes for Rural Medicare Beneficiaries with Sepsis
    Rural Telehealth Research Center
    Sepsis is a life-threatening emergency for which provider-to-provider telemedicine has been used to improve quality of care. The objective of this study is to measure the impact of rural tele-emergency consultation on long-term healthcare costs and outcomes, specifically through decreasing organ failure, hospital length-of-stay, and readmissions.
  • Examining the Burden of Public Stigma Associated with Mental Illness in the Rural U.S.
    Rural Health Equity Research Center
    This project will quantitatively examine the burden of public stigma associated with mental illness in rural versus nonrural communities using a nationally representative panel-based survey. Findings will inform strategies aimed at reducing stigma and improving the lives of those experiencing mental illness in rural communities.
  • How Does Participation in Medicare Accountable Care Organizations Affect Rural Hospital Financial Outcomes?
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    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.
  • How Have the Sources of Revenue for Rural Hospitals Changed Since 2005?
    North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center
    Rural hospitals have seen a steadily decreasing average acute daily census. If outpatient revenue is not expanding to fill that decrease, the decrease in patient revenue could further threaten hospital viability.
  • Inpatient Treatment Costs Associated with Substance Use Disorders
    Rural Health Equity Research Center
    The purposes of this project are to examine the costs and characteristics of inpatient stays associated with substance use disorders and to examine whether there are systematic differences in these stays and costs for persons residing in rural areas compared to urban areas.
  • Location and Characteristics of Nursing Homes in the Rural and Urban U.S.
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    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.
  • Objective Program Examination and Gap Analysis of Telehealth Resource Centers
    Rural Telehealth Evaluation Center
    This project will review an inventory of existing metrics used by the Telehealth Resource Centers to summarize technical assistance (TA) activities and identify opportunities for future program development in improving TA services for expanding telehealth in the nation.
  • Opportunities for Increasing Access to Maternal Telehealth Services
    Rural Telehealth Research Center
    Rural residents face barriers to healthcare access that contribute to higher maternal morbidity and infant mortality than in urban areas. This project will use nationally representative data to identify opportunities for increasing access to maternal health services via telehealth and implementation barriers to sustaining telehealth services.
  • Out-of-Pocket Spending Among Privately Insured Rural and Urban Residents
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Out-of-pocket spending for healthcare services has been on the rise as deductibles and other cost-sharing requirements among the privately insured increase. This study compares rural and urban out-of-pocket healthcare spending to identify whether rural residents have been disproportionately affected by this trend.
  • Overcoming Barriers to Providing Rural Obstetrical Training for Physicians
    WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Rural communities struggle to maintain obstetrical (OB) services, due in part to scarce rural training opportunities for obstetricians and family physicians. This study describes the availability, characteristics, and output of residency and fellowship programs offering rural OB training and identifies solutions to support this training.
  • Racial and Ethnic Disparities Shouldered by Rural Americans: Evidence from the Peer-Reviewed and Grey Literature on the Five Leading Causes of Death
    Southwest Rural Health Research Center
    A systematic review of peer-reviewed and grey literature will explore the role of racial and ethnic disparities in the five leading causes of death. The project will provide historical and context setting perspectives on the contributors to the five leading causes of death, particularly as they involve the intersection of rurality and non-majority demographic identities.
  • Rural and Urban Cancer Survivors' Follow-Up Care Experiences
    Rural and Underserved Health Research Center
    This project examines rural vs. urban differences in cancer survivors' follow-up care experiences using the 2017 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.
  • Rural and Urban Variation in Family Physicians' Demographics and Practices
    Rural and Underserved Health Research Center
    This project will examine changes in personal demographics of family physicians comparing urban and rural areas, how these changes align with those of the populations they serve, and how rural physician practices have changed over time. This project uses American Board of Family Medicine data.
  • Rural Family Physicians' Ability to Address Patients' Social Determinants of Health Needs
    Rural and Underserved Health Research Center
    This project examines how practice-level and community-level characteristics are associated with a family physician's assessment of their practice's ability to address patients' social needs.
  • Rural Health Access: Affordability and Barriers to Care
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Rural-urban comparisons of healthcare access and affordability predate many policy reform efforts aimed at increasing access and decreasing costs—ongoing concerns of rural families. This study will use national health survey data to examine rural-urban differences in access to medical care, access to insurance, and affordability of care.
  • Rural Healthy People 2030: Challenges and Opportunities for the New Decade
    Southwest Rural Health Research Center
    Building on Rural Healthy People 2010 and Rural Healthy People 2020, this project will help to launch Rural Healthy People 2030 and analyze variations in top-ranked Healthy People objectives for rural America. We will identify the most important objectives for rural Americans and how Rural Healthy People priorities have changed over time.
  • Rural Hospital Closure and Effect on Local Economies
    North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center
    Several research projects have analyzed the health effects of rural hospital closures. However, highly cited evidence on the economic effects of rural hospital closures is more than a decade old. The purpose of this study is to quantify the economic impact rural hospital closures have on communities.
  • Rural-Urban Analysis of Persistent Health Professional Shortage Areas
    Rural Health Equity Research Center
    The study will describe rural-urban differences in persistent Health Professional Shortage Area designations for primary care, mental health, and dental care between 2010 and 2020, including those located in persistent poverty and majority minority counties.
  • Rural-Urban Differences in Adverse and Positive Childhood Experiences: Results from the National Survey of Children's Health
    Rural and Minority Health Research Center
    Using the 2016-2018 National Survey of Children's Health, the prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and positive childhood experiences (PCEs) exposure in all 50 states and the District of Columbia will be examined and whether ACE and PCE exposure differs between rural and urban residents, by type, by count, and by racial/ethnic group.
  • Safe Obstetric Care Access for All Rural Residents: Minimum Standards for Clinical, Workforce, and Financial Viability of Rural Obstetric Units
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    The goal of this project is to analyze data from rural hospitals to understand the criteria by which hospitals and communities assess their need and capacity for obstetric care access in rural counties and to describe effective ways to operationalize minimum standards for clinical safety and financial viability for rural obstetric units.
  • Summary of Telehealth Definitions: A Scoping Review
    Rural Telehealth Evaluation Center
    Telehealth services are a vital alternative to delivering health care, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study provides a scope review of telehealth definitions, summarized from various sources and stakeholders.
  • Summative Examination of Licensure Portability Program
    Rural Telehealth Evaluation Center
    Licensure portability has become increasingly important to expanding telehealth services for rural populations across state lines during the COVID-19 pandemic. The proposed summative examination will provide comprehensive Licensure Portability Program review and identify future program improvements.
  • Telehealth for Chronic Disease Management in the Veterans Health Administration
    Rural Telehealth Research Center
    This project will capitalize on the aggressive adoption of telehealth within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). The overall purpose of this jointly funded collaborative project is to better understand key factors impacting how VHA chronic disease management telehealth has reduced healthcare utilization outcomes and cost.
  • Telehealth Use Among Children in Medicaid Managed Care and Fee-for-Service Programs
    Rural Telehealth Research Center
    This project will assess differences in the use of telehealth services among rural and urban children by enrollment in state Medicaid managed care organizations and fee-for-service programs using national administrative claims datasets.
  • Treatment, Provider, and Cost Differences for Rural and Urban Patients with Opioid Use Disorder Across the U.S.
    WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    This study describes and compares the treatment that rural and urban patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) receive, documenting the workforce providing care, distance that patients travel to receive care, and cost of care. Findings will inform policies to ensure that rural patients with OUD have access to care from local healthcare providers.
  • Trends in Health Workforce Supply in the Rural U.S.
    WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Rural communities in the U.S. have struggled to recruit and sustain sufficient health professionals to ensure adequate access to care. This study uses multiple sources of data to describe the geographic distribution (rural/urban, regional, and intra-rural) of numerous types of health professionals.
  • Understanding Rural Health Clinic Services, Use, and Reimbursement
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    This study describes the scope and intensity of services provided to Medicare beneficiaries by independent and provider-based Rural Health Clinics. It will also assess the adequacy of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' changes to the outpatient evaluation and management codes in 2021 compared to the 2021 per-visit reimbursement cap.
  • Unintentional Injury in Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Settings by Race or Ethnicity
    Rural and Underserved Health Research Center
    This study will describe the rates of fatal and nonfatal unintentional injury comparing metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas, stratified by race or ethnicity. This study will use Centers for Disease Control WONDER data (2014-2018) and the 2018 National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey.
  • Updating and Exploring the Burden of Potentially Avoidable Emergency Department Visits in Rural U.S. Communities
    Southwest Rural Health Research Center
    This project will update the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy's research portfolio on potentially avoidable emergency department (ED) visits among rural residents across the U.S., particularly as they relate to ambulatory care sensitive conditions (ACSCs). Data on ACSC-related ED visits will be drawn from the State Emergency Department Databases, and findings will be stratified by census region, patient's place along the urban-rural continuum, and by race/ethnicity.

Projects Funded September 2019 - (13)

Projects Funded September 2018 - (5)

  • Healthcare Use and Expenditures Among Rural and Urban Medicare Beneficiaries Aged 85 and Over
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    The proportion of U.S. residents ages 85+ is expected to grow substantially in the coming decades with the impact of this growth in rural areas likely to be pronounced. This project will use data from the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey to examine rural-urban differences in healthcare use and expenditures among Medicare enrollees ages 85+.
  • Medicare Beneficiary Access to Prescription Drugs Under Part D
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    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.
  • Post-acute Care Quality for Rural Medicare Beneficiaries
    WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    This study will examine rural post-acute care quality for rural Medicare beneficiaries and potential disparities in post-acute care between urban and rural providers. Publicly reported quality measures for rural skilled nursing facilities and home health agencies will be compared with state and national averages as well as urban providers.
  • Psychiatric Bed Closures in Rural Hospitals: An Assessment of Trends, Impact, and Policy Strategies
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    This study will examine trends in the closure of psychiatric beds by rural hospitals using the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Treatment Services Locator; the American Hospital Association Annual Survey of Hospitals (2010-2017); and the Area Health Resources File.
  • Serious Mental Illness and Access to Care Among Rural and Urban Adults
    Rural and Underserved Health Research Center
    Very little research has examined the prevalence of serious mental illness and access to mental health treatment among rural relative to urban adults in the U.S. Using nationally representative data, this project will shed new light on the prevalence and correlates of serious mental illness and related access to mental health services.

Projects Funded September 2017 - (4)

  • A Chartbook of Rural Population Health
    North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center
    This project creates a chartbook of population health for rural areas. This resource is designed to allow policymakers and practitioners to better understand rural-urban disparities across a wide variety of population health indicators.
  • Health Care Use and Access Among Rural and Urban Elderly Medicare Beneficiaries
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    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.
  • Quality Measures for Skilled Nursing Care in Rural Swing Beds: What Works and What Doesn't?
    Southwest Rural Health Research Center
    This project will provide a systematic review of skilled nursing facility quality measures and how these measures apply to skilled nursing facility-level care provided in rural swing beds in both critical access hospitals and prospective payment system hospitals.
  • Rural Health Clinics Chartbook
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    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.

Projects Funded September 2016 - (1)