Quality of Skilled Nursing Facilities Serving Rural Medicare Beneficiaries


Rural Medicare beneficiaries receive care from skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) located in both rural and urban communities. Over one-fifth of urban SNFs have patient populations consisting of 10% or more rural beneficiaries and can be considered rural-serving along with rural SNFs.

In this policy brief, we examine variation in Medicare star ratings for SNFs by rural-serving status. While overall star ratings and staffing star ratings were not significantly associated with rural-serving status, rural SNFs and rural-serving urban SNFs were significantly less likely to have high quality star ratings compared to non-rural-serving urban SNFs. However, SNFs in isolated small rural communities were more likely to have high survey star ratings compared to non-rural-serving urban SNFs. The relationship between SNF quality and rural-serving status is not consistent across the different types of star ratings.

WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
Tracy Mroz, Lisa Garberson, Holly Andrilla, Davis Patterson