Kristie Thompson, MA

North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center

Phone: 919.966.9484
Fax: 919.966.3811
Email: kristie_thompson@unc.edu

Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
CB# 7590
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7590


Completed Projects - (1)

  • What Does it Cost to Operate a Rural Free-Standing Emergency Department (RFED)?
    In recent months, there have been numerous media reports of rural hospital closures and the adverse effect on communities. In the face of hospital closure, one alternative for maintaining access to healthcare is a rural free-standing emergency department (RFED).
    Research center: North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center
    Topics: Critical Access Hospitals, Healthcare financing, Medicare

Publications - (17)

2021

  • How Many Hospitals Might Convert to a Rural Emergency Hospital?
    North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center
    Date: 07/2021
    In this study, three measures were used to predict the number of rural hospitals with 50 beds or less that are likely to consider conversion to a Rural Emergency Hospital: 1) three years negative total margin; 2) average daily census (acute + swing) less than three; and 3) net patient revenue less than $20 million.
  • Changes in Provision of Selected Services by Rural and Urban Hospitals Between 2009 and 2017
    Policy Brief
    North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center
    Date: 04/2021
    The purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding of recent trends in hospital service provision and whether there were disparities between rural and urban hospitals. This brief describes and compares the changes in service provision for rural and urban hospitals between 2009 and 2017.
  • Alternatives to Hospital Closure: Findings from a National Survey of CAH Executives
    North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center
    Date: 02/2021
    Despite the many challenges of operating a Critical Access Hospital (CAH), little research examines the perspectives of CAH executives on potential community healthcare options if the CAH closed. This brief provides policymakers with a better understanding of what CAH executives think about the viability of various alternatives to closure.
  • Health System Challenges for Critical Access Hospitals: Findings from a National Survey of CAH Executives
    Policy Brief
    North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center
    Date: 02/2021
    Despite the numerous challenges of operating a Critical Access Hospital (CAH), there is little research examining the perspectives of CAH executives on potential community healthcare options if the CAH closed. This brief presents a subset of results from a national survey of CAH executive perspectives on pressing challenges.

2019

2018

  • Geographic Variation in Uncompensated Care Between Rural and Urban Hospitals
    Policy Brief
    North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center
    Date: 06/2018
    The purpose of this brief is to compare uncompensated care in rural and urban hospitals and to describe how it varies across regions of the country.
  • Geographic Variation in the 2016 Profitability of Urban and Rural Hospitals
    Policy Brief
    North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center
    Date: 03/2018
    This study describes the geographic variation in 2016 profitability of critical access hospitals (CAHs), other rural hospitals (Medicare Dependent Hospitals, Sole Community Hospitals, and rural Prospective Payment System (PPS) hospitals denoted as "ORH"), and urban PPS hospitals by census region, census division, and state.
  • Access to Care: Populations in Counties with No FQHC, RHC, or Acute Care Hospital
    Policy Brief
    North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center
    Date: 01/2018
    To help provide a quick understanding of how many people may have more limited access to primary care and where they live, this brief focuses on three main primary care providers in rural areas (Federally Qualified Health Centers, Rural Health Centers, and acute care hospitals).
  • Range Matters: Rural Averages Can Conceal Important Information
    Policy Brief
    North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center
    Date: 01/2018
    This short brief uses three examples to demonstrate how focusing on averages without also considering the data range can conceal important information: 1) average rural hospital profitability, 2) distance from closed rural hospitals to the next closest hospital, and 3) HIV prevalence by county.

2017

  • CMS Hospital Quality Star Rating: For 762 Rural Hospitals, No Stars is the Problem
    Policy Brief
    Rapid Response to Requests for Rural Data Analysis
    Date: 06/2017
    The purpose of this brief is to look more closely at the characteristics of rural hospitals with and without CMS Hospital Quality Star Ratings to help inform ongoing discussions about the usefulness of the quality star rating for comparing hospital quality and possible ways to improve the star rating initiative.

2016

  • Does ACA Insurance Coverage Expansion Improve the Financial Performance of Rural Hospitals?
    Policy Brief
    North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center
    Date: 04/2016
    Views on how the implementation of the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) expanded insurance coverage is affecting the financial performance of rural hospitals. The study found that while respondents believe the expanded insurance coverage was the right thing to do for patients, they worried coverage may not be adequate to ensure access to care.

2015

  • The Rising Rate of Rural Hospital Closures
    North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center
    Date: 07/2015
    Discusses the increase in rural hospital closure rates, including the causes of closures and its impact on rural communities.
  • A Comparison of Closed Rural Hospitals and Perceived Impact
    Policy Brief
    North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center
    Date: 04/2015
    This policy brief compares selected characteristics of abandoned rural hospitals and their markets to those of converted rural hospitals.
  • The 21st Century Rural Hospital: A Chart Book
    Chartbook
    North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center
    Date: 03/2015
    This chartbook presents a broad profile of rural hospitals and includes information on location, who they serve, services they provide, how they ensure outpatient services for their communities, other community benefits they provide, and financial performance. Each page includes charts comparing rural hospitals to each other and to urban hospitals.

2014

  • Geographic Variation in Plan Uptake in the Federally Facilitated Marketplace
    Policy Brief
    North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center
    Date: 10/2014
    This brief combines the data on plan selection in the federally facilitated marketplaces with estimates of those likely to qualify for the marketplace to calculate the percentage of potential eligible individuals who chose a health insurance plan (the uptake rate). It contains a heat map showing the variation in uptake rates across the country.