For decades, healthcare has been shifting from inpatient
to outpatient settings. Ambulatory care refers to medical
services performed same day on an outpatient basis
(without admission to a hospital or other facility) and
includes services ranging from wellness and disease
management to surgical treatment and rehabilitation.
These services are generally provided to keep patients
healthy and out of the hospital.
Although it is known that access to ambulatory care is
important, not much is known about the ambulatory care
that rural Medicare patients typically receive. This
chartbook uses available Medicare claims data to describe
facility-based (i.e., excludes private practitioners)
ambulatory care provided to rural Medicare beneficiaries
and includes claims, costs, and common diagnoses.