Patterns of Inpatient Care-Seeking by Rural Residents

Lead researcher:
Project funded:
September 2018
Anticipated completion date:
April 2020

The degree to which a community uses a hospital other than its local rural hospital – the bypass rate – is negatively correlated with the financial sustainability of the hospital. In an era of increasing financial pressure, an understanding of inpatient care-seeking behavior by rural residents can provide insight into drivers of bypass rates.


  • Patterns of Hospital Bypass and Inpatient Care-Seeking by Rural Residents
    Policy Brief
    North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center
    Date: 04/2020
    Hospital bypass, the tendency of local rural residents to not seek care at their closest hospital, is thought to be a contributing factor for rural hospital closure. The purpose of this brief is to update the knowledge base of determinants of bypass behavior by analyzing state inpatient data from 2014-2016.