Eric Larson, PhD

WWAMI Rural Health Research Center

Phone: 206.616.9601
Email: ehlarson@uw.edu

University of Washington
4311 11th Ave NE, Suite 210
Seattle, WA 98105


Current Projects - (3)

  • Do Rural Breast and Colorectal Cancer Patients Present at More Advanced Disease Stages than Their Urban Counterparts?
    Access to recommended cancer screening is more difficult for rural residents than their urban counterparts. This study uses the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program (SEER) data to examine the extent to which rural residents present at more advanced disease stages for breast and colorectal cancer diagnosis than urban residents.
    Research center: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Cancer, Health disparities and health equity, Health promotion and disease prevention, Health services
  • Geographic Access to Healthcare for Rural Medicare Beneficiaries: An Update and National Look
    This objective of this study is to compare, at a national and census division level, where rural and urban Medicare beneficiaries receive ambulatory care, which types of specialists they utilize and how far beneficiaries are traveling to obtain care.
    Research center: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Aging, Chronic diseases and conditions, Health services, Medicare, Workforce
  • The Current Distribution of the General Surgery Workforce in Rural America
    This project describes the current national supply and distribution of general surgeons in rural vs. urban areas of the United States as well as geographic variability in the supply of general surgeons across the rural/urban and intra-rural dimensions at the regional level.
    Research center: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Critical Access Hospitals, Health services, Healthcare access, Hospitals and clinics, Physicians, Rural statistics and demographics, Workforce

Completed Projects - (15)

  • Aging of the Rural Generalist Physician Workforce: Will Some Locations Be More Affected than Others?
    This study will identify rural locations with high proportions of generalist physicians nearing retirement age.
    Research center: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Physicians, Workforce
  • Are Rural Perinatal Care Systems Deregionalizing?
    Research center: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Children and adolescents, Health services, Maternal health
  • Changes in U.S. Rural Perinatal and Infant Health Care During the Last Decade
    This study examined changes in rates of adverse birth outcomes and prenatal care among rural Americans of different racial and ethnic groups during two time periods. The study used national data from the Linked Birth Death Data Sets to assess differences in low birth weight, neonatal death, post neonatal mortality and inadequate prenatal care.
    Research center: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Children and adolescents, Health disparities and health equity, Maternal health
  • Dentist Supply, Access to Dental Care, and Oral Health Among Rural and Urban Residents: A National Study
    This study will determine whether shortages of dentists in rural areas of the U.S. are associated with impaired access to dental care and a higher prevalence of dental disease.
    Research center: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Oral health, Workforce
  • General and Specialist Surgeon Supply and Inpatient Procedural Content: A National Rural-Urban Study
    This study will examine the degree to which access to inpatient surgical care in rural areas is affected by the diminishing workforce of general surgeons. Using inpatient surgical procedure data, we will examine the availability and content of general surgical procedures in rural and urban hospitals nationally as a function of surgeon supply.
    Research center: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Topic: Workforce
  • Increasing the Supply of Providers with a Drug Enforcement Agency Waiver to Treat Opioid Addiction in Rural America – Possible Effects of Permitting Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners to Prescribe Buprenorphine
    This study investigated the possible effects on rural access to treatment for opioid use disorder if Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) waivers for prescribing buprenorphine as an office-based outpatient treatment for opioid addiction are available to Physician Assistants (PAs) and Nurse Practitioners (NPs).
    Research center: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Legislation and regulation, Nurses and nurse practitioners, Physician assistants, Physicians, Substance use and treatment, Workforce
  • Rural Dentistry: Availability, Practice, and Access
    Research center: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Oral health, Workforce
  • The Supply and Distribution of the Behavioral Health Workforce in Rural America
    Data from the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES) file, linked to RUCA codes and population data will be used to identify behavioral health providers and describe their geographic (rural/urban, regional and intra-rural) distribution. Behavioral health professions identified in the file include psychiatrists, addiction medicine specialists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists in mental health, clinical psychologists and licensed social workers.
    Research center: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Allied health professionals, Mental and behavioral health, Workforce
  • The Supply and Distribution of the Primary Care Health Workforce in Rural America
    This study will describe the supply and distribution of primary care providers in the rural U.S. at national, regional, and state levels using the most recent data available. Primary care health professionals include family physicians, general practitioners, general internists, pediatricians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants.
    Research center: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Nurses and nurse practitioners, Physician assistants, Physicians, Workforce
  • What Are the Possible Impacts of Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants on Future Provision of Primary Care in Rural Areas?
    This study will explore how many nurse practitioners (NPs), physician assistants (PAs) and physicians will be required to meet rural health care demand resulting from expanded access to health insurance through implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
    Research center: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Nurses and nurse practitioners, Physician assistants, Physicians, Workforce
  • What Impact Will Unified GME Accreditation Have on Rural-focused Physician Residencies
    The impending unification of allopathic and osteopathic graduate medical education (GME) under a single accreditation system has uncertain implications for small and rural-focused residency programs. This study aimed to (1) quantify the rural practice outcomes of residencies in rurally-relevant specialties such as pediatrics, internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, emergency medicine, surgery, anesthesia, and psychiatry, and (2) interview key stakeholders to identify anticipated challenges of the accreditation merger and potential policies to strengthen vulnerable rural-focused residencies during the transition.
    Research center: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Topic: Physicians
  • What Is the Potential of Community Paramedicine to Fill Rural Healthcare Gaps?
    Community paramedicine (CP) has been promoted as a strategy to help communities achieve the Triple Aim of improving healthcare and population health while lowering costs. This study proposes to collect descriptive information on CP programs that can be identified in the U.S., and for those programs with outcome data, compare rural with urban programs in terms of their goals, services offered, outcomes measured, and results, where available.
    Research center: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Allied health professionals, Emergency medical services and trauma
  • What Makes Physician Assistant Programs Successful at Training Rural PAs?
    A WWAMI Rural Health Research Center study identified the physician assistant (PA) training programs that have reduced high numbers and high proportions of graduates working in rural areas. The study extended that work through a physician assistant program survey, identifying key characteristics, admission, and training strategies, and missions of successful rural programs.
    Research center: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Physician assistants, Workforce
  • Which Physician Assistant Training Programs Produce Rural Physician Assistants? A National Study
    This study will identify the physician assistant (PA) training programs that are most successful at producing graduates who practice in rural areas. The study will focus particularly on PAs who graduated from training in the past ten years.
    Research center: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Physician assistants, Workforce
  • Who Provides Mental Health Services to Rural Medicare Beneficiaries?
    Most rural counties do not have a psychiatrist to care for the common conditions of depression or anxiety. This study describes the provider workforce that cares for rural elderly patients with depression/anxiety, including regional and rural-urban variations in mental healthcare provision.
    Research center: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Health services, Medicare, Mental and behavioral health, Nurses and nurse practitioners, Physician assistants, Physicians, Substance use and treatment, Workforce

Publications - (33)

2020

2019

2018

2017

  • Barriers Rural Physicians Face Prescribing Buprenorphine for Opioid Use Disorder
    WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 07/2017
    Opioid use disorder is a serious public health problem. Management with buprenorphine is an effective medication-assisted treatment, but 60.1% of rural counties lack a physician with a Drug Enforcement Agency waiver to prescribe buprenorphine. This national study surveyed all rural physicians who have received a waiver in the United States.
  • Changes in the Supply of Physicians with a DEA DATA Waiver to Prescribe Buprenorphine for Opioid Use Disorder
    Policy Brief
    WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 05/2017
    This project mapped the location of physicians with a DEA DATA 2000 waiver to prescribe buprenorphine for opioid use disorder in July 2012 and April 2016. The number of counties without a waivered physician and the ratio of waivered physicians per 100,000 population is reported by the rural/urban status of the county.

2016

  • What Is the Potential of Community Paramedicine to Fill Rural Healthcare Gaps?
    WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 11/2016
    This study collected information on rural community paramedicine in the U.S. programs to describe their goals, target populations, services offered, connections with local community providers and resources, outcomes measured, and results, where available.
  • Supply and Distribution of the Behavioral Health Workforce in Rural America
    Policy Brief
    WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 09/2016
    This brief uses National Provider Identifier (NPI) data to report on the variability of the supply and provider to population ratios of five types of behavioral health workforce providers (psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, psychiatric nurse practitioners, counselors) in Metropolitan, Micropolitan and Non-core rural areas across the U.S.
  • Graduates of Rural-centric Family Medicine Residencies: Determinants of Rural and Urban Practice
    Policy Brief
    WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 07/2016
    This study of graduates of family medicine residencies seeking to produce rural physicians identified influences on rural practice choice, including significant others, residency, and practice communities. Findings point to the need to sustain the preferences of physicians interested in rural practice and encourage this interest in others.
  • How Could Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants Be Deployed to Provide Rural Primary Care?
    Policy Brief
    WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 03/2016
    New (2014) rural enrollees in the insurance plans on federal and state exchanges are expected to generate about 1.39 million primary care visits per year. At a national level, it would require 345 full-time equivalent physicians to provide those visits. This study examines how different mixes of physicians, PAs, and NPs might meet the increase.
  • Which Physician Assistant Training Programs Produce Rural PAs? A National Study
    Policy Brief
    WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 02/2016
    The proportion of physician assistant (PA) graduates who enter practice in rural settings has dropped over the last two decades, though PAs still continue to enter rural practice at a higher rate than primary care physicians. This identifies the PA training programs that produced high numbers of rural PAs and the programs associated.

2015

2009

2008

2006

2005

  • Pathways to Rural Practice: A Chartbook of Family Medicine Residency Training Locations and Characteristics
    WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 08/2005
    This chartbook discusses the characteristics and geography of family medicine residency programs' rural locations, types of rural family medicine training by location, and rural mission of family medicine residencies.
  • Rural Definitions for Health Policy and Research
    WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 07/2005
    Defining "rural" for health policy and research purposes requires researchers and policy analysts to specify which aspects of rurality are most relevant to the topic at hand and then select an appropriate definition. Rural and urban taxonomies often do not discuss important demographic, cultural, and economic differences across rural places-differences that have major implications for policy and research. Factors such as geographic scale and region also must be considered. Several useful rural taxonomies are discussed and compared in this article. Careful attention to the definition of "rural" is required for effectively targeting policy and research aimed at improving the health of rural Americans.

2004

  • Characterizing the General Surgery Workforce in Rural America
    WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 05/2004
    General surgeons form a crucial component of the medical workforce in rural areas of the United States. Analysis of the data suggests that the general surgical workforce has not kept pace with the rising population, and that the number of general surgeons in most rural areas of the United States will decline further.

2003

2001

  • National Estimates of Physician Assistant Productivity
    WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 2001
    Analysis of productivity data from a nationally representative sample of physician assistants (PAs) showed that PAs performed 61.4 outpatient visits per week compared with 74.2 visits performed by physicians. However, productivity of PAs varies strongly across practice specialty and location.

1999

1997