Transitions in Care for Rural Medicare Beneficiaries with Diabetes

Research center:
Lead researcher:
Project funded:
September 2007
Project completed:
July 2011

Hospital admission rates for diabetes have been declining over the past 20 years. However, the degree to which improvements in care have reached rural as well as urban populations, and the degree to which improvements may have affected race-based health disparities, is not known. Identifying gaps in care can help rural providers and policy makers better direct resources for improvement.

The study will provide quantitative information regarding the effects of rural residence and minority race/ethnicity on care for persons with diabetes: specifying admission rates for diabetes among Medicare beneficiaries, ascertaining the proportion of hospitalized persons who transition appropriately to outpatient care, and examining factors related to re-hospitalization within a short period of time.

We will use data from the Medicare Chronic Conditions Data Warehouse to study hospitalization and transition to care among beneficiaries. The analysis will examine outcomes in a cohort of beneficiaries with diabetes, followed over the 2000 - 2005 period, excluding beneficiaries who may be impaired in their ability to access diabetes care (persons in long term care, persons with cognitive impairment) or who suffer from end stage renal disease.

A technical report to ORHP will be generated. Key findings and the executive summary of the report will posted on the South Carolina Rural Health Research Center website.