Comparisons of Rural Definitions

Lead researcher:
Contact:
Project funded:
September 2014
Anticipated completion date:
April 2019

This project will lead to the creation of a mega rural and frontier website. This website will emphasize the use of various rural definitions and datasets for healthcare policy, policy analysis, and research. The website will have four components:

  1. An introduction to the use of geographic methods, especially geographic taxonomies regarding health care (e.g., critical literature review of all U.S. rural and frontier taxonomies and comparisons of the most commonly applied taxonomies), 21 pairwise comparisons with tables, maps, and text, and useful links to other websites
  2. Serve as the online home of RUCA 3
  3. Serve as the online home of FAR 1
  4. Contain a section describing various ways to define service areas and other types of regions.

Secondary, this project will include a Critical Review and Analysis Regarding Primary Care Service Areas (PCSAs), Health Professional Shortage Area Rational Service Areas (RSAs), and other designations. The purpose of this proposed project is to review Dartmouth’s PCSAs, other RSA methodologies, and alternative methodologies related to their strengths, weaknesses, and spatial analytic criteria regarding their ability to serve in the process of developing useful primary care service areas. The project will include normative service areas where in a primary care service area should exist (potential service area) but does not (e.g., large area/population with no providers that could support them).