Carrie Henning-Smith, PhD, MPH, MSW

University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center

Phone: 612.623.8320
Fax: 612.624.2196
Email: henn0329@umn.edu

Division of Health Policy and Management
University of Minnesota
420 Delaware Street SE, MMC 729
Minneapolis, MN 55455


Current Projects - (1)

Paving the Way: Addressing Transportation as a Social Determinant of Health for Rural Residents
This project will use a mixed-methods design to examine ways in which transportation operates as a social determinant of health for vulnerable rural residents, and to identify exemplar transportation programs that are successfully improving health and well-being of those residents.
Research center: University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
Topics: Aging, Health services, Networking and collaboration

Completed Projects - (1)

Skilled Nursing Facility Care for Rural Residents with Complex Care Needs
This project will examine barriers to skilled nursing facility placement for rural residents with complex care needs, including obesity, dementia, and behavioral health problems, and explore potential implications for access to and quality of care.
Research center: University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
Topics: Health services, Hospitals and clinics, Long term care

Publications - (14)

  • Closure of Hospital Obstetric Services Disproportionately Affects Less-Populated Counties
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 04/2017
    This policy brief describes the scope of obstetric unit and hospital closures resulting in loss of obstetric services in rural U.S. counties from 2004 to 2014.
  • Differences in Part D Plans Offered to Rural and Urban Medicare Beneficiaries
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 07/2015

    This brief analyzes how the plan options available to rural and urban beneficiaries differ in terms of premiums, deductibles, and copayments, as well as differences in plan options within rural areas.

    Key Findings:

    • Standalone Medicare Part D prescription drug plans (PDPs) available to beneficiaries varied little in premiums, copays, deductibles, the availability of enhanced plans, and gap coverage across urban and rural areas.
    • The average deductible and average premium for available MA-PDPs varied significantly among the three geographic areas. Urban areas had the lowest costs, followed by more-densely populated and less-densely populated rural areas.
  • Does the Medicare Part D Decision-Making Experience Differ by Rural/Urban Location?
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 02/2016
    Evaluates the personal experiences with choosing a Part D plan among rural residents. This study examines the geographic differences in Part D enrollees’ opinion of the plans decision-making process.
  • Ensuring Access to High-Quality Maternity Care in Rural America
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 05/2016
    Examines the access to high-quality for rural women care during pregnancy and childbirth. Policy interventions at the local, state, and federal levels could help to address maternity care workforce shortages and improve quality of care available to the one-half million rural U.S. women who give birth each year.
  • Medical Barriers to Nursing Home Care for Rural Residents
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 05/2017
    This policy brief describes barriers rural residents with complex medical care needs may face when seeking placement in a nursing home and identifies potential policy strategies to overcome them.
  • Medicare Costs and Utilization Among Beneficiaries in Rural Areas
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 03/2016
    This study assesses the relationship between service utilization patterns and costs for rural Medicare beneficiaries across the rural continuum. It also examines the relationships between rural beneficiaries’ service utilization and health care delivery market structure and evaluates strategies and policies to address high costs in rural areas.
  • Quality Measures and Sociodemographic Risk Factors: The Rural Context
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 05/2016
    This policy brief aims to inform discussions concerning whether or not to adjust provider quality measures for differences in patient characteristics by examining how rurality and key sociodemographic variables might affect quality-of-care outcomes.
  • Regulating Network Adequacy for Rural Populations: Perspectives of Five States
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 08/2017
    The purpose of this study was to examine how five geographically-diverse states with significant rural populations define "network adequacy" and the degree to which they consider rural issues when regulating networks.
  • Rural and Urban Differences in Choice of and Satisfaction with Medicare Part D Plans
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 07/2015

    This brief examines whether rural Medicare beneficiaries are satisfied with their Medicare Part D drug plans and whether there is a difference in beneficiary satisfaction and plan selection experience by rurality.

    Key Findings:

    • Less than one in five respondents felt “extremely confident” that they had made the best plan decision. Residents in more-densely populated rural areas were significantly less likely than those in urban areas to be extremely confident.
    • Respondents in more-densely populated rural counties reported significantly lower satisfaction levels with their Part D plans than those in urban counties.
  • Rural Implications of Expanded Birth Volume Threshold for Reporting Perinatal Care Measures
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 04/2016
    In 2016 the minimum annual birth volume threshold for required reporting of the Joint Commission Perinatal Care measures by accredited hospitals decreased from 1,100 to 300 births. This study used the publicly available Join Commission Quality Check data from April 2014 to March 2015.
  • Rural-Urban Differences in Satisfaction with Medicare Part D: Implications for Policy
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 01/2016
    Examines the difference in rural and urban satisfaction with Medicare Part D coverage by using data from the 2012 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey. The research found that rural residents have lower satisfaction with their coverage.
  • State Variability in Access to Hospital-Based Obstetric Services in Rural US Counties
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 04/2017
    This policy brief describes state-level variations in 1) the availability of hospital-based obstetric services, and 2) the scope of obstetric unit and hospital closures resulting in the loss of obstetric services in rural U.S. counties from 2004 to 2014.
  • State Variations in the Rural Obstetric Workforce
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 05/2016
    Many types of staff are necessary to successfully run an obstetrics unit. Rural hospitals face unique staffing challenges. This policy brief describes the obstetric workforce in rural hospitals by state for nine states: Colorado, Iowa, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.
  • The Practice of Midwifery in Rural US Hospitals
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 07/2016
    Analyzes the role of certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) in providing maternity care in rural US hospitals and to examine state-level variations on rural CNM practice. CNMs play an important role in the maternity care workforce in rural US hospitals.