Performance of Rural and Urban Home Health Agencies in Improving Patient Outcomes


This study was conducted to determine whether rural and urban home care agencies differ in terms of patient care outcomes, and to ascertain whether there are agency characteristics that are associated with better or worse outcomes. This study found rather small differences in the quality of care provided by home health agencies in rural and urban areas. Findings from the multivariate analyses indicated that rural agencies performed better on measures of improvement in walking, transferring, and dressing, whereas urban agencies performed better on measures of improvement in pain frequency and medication management. Rural or urban location had only a modest effect on functional performance scores. Rural and urban agency differences in rates of unplanned urgent care and hospital admissions were not statistically significant after controlling for other agency characteristics, region of country and characteristics of the healthcare market.

NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis
Janet Sutton