A Chartbook of Rural Population Health

Lead researcher:
Project funded:
September 2017
Anticipated completion date:
October 2022

Health policy continues to increase its focus on population health. Public and private payers often include elements of population health in payment policy. Likewise, policymakers and practitioners realize population health is a key component for both healthcare delivery and policy strategies and outcomes. Although there are numerous data sources and compendia for examining population health, especially outcomes, they often lack the elements necessary for use in rural health policy. For example, not many of the existing reports capture rural-urban differences, but instead focus on statewide rates, which tend to obfuscate important intra-state disparities. For reports (or data sources) that include county-based rates, some county-based datasets may have high rates of suppressed or synthetic data to protect privacy of individuals in places with very small numbers of health events, which makes it more difficult to characterize rural areas with smaller populations. This project will present the data in a way that will help policymakers and practitioners (particularly legislators and State Offices of Rural Health) to more easily understand variation in population health across differing levels of rurality for the nation and by region and state.