Lan Zhao, PhD


Completed Projects - (2)

Declining Access to Hospital-based Obstetric Services in Rural Areas: Causes and Impact
This study examines the declining availability of hospital-based obstetric services in rural areas from the mid-1980s to the early 2000s. It examines potential causes for this trend and explores the effects of medical malpractice reforms.
Research center: NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis
Topics: Health policy, Hospitals and clinics, Legislation and regulation, Maternal and child health, Women
Effect of Travel Distances on Access to Obstetric Care and Birth Outcomes in Rural Communities
This study will assess whether the availability of obstetric providers in rural areas is sufficient to meet the need for obstetric care by measuring the distance patients must travel to obtain prenatal care and delivery and by examining health outcomes related to labor and delivery.
Research center: NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis
Topics: Maternal and child health, Physicians, Women

Publications - (3)

  • Achieving Equity in Medicare Disproportionate Share Payments to Rural Hospitals: An Assessment of the Financial Impact of Recent and Proposed Changes to the Disproportionate Share Hospital Payment Formula
    NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis
    Date: 09/2002
    Examines how Benefits Improvement and Protection Act revisions to the Medicare disproportionate share hospital (DSH) program are likely to affect rural hospital financial performance. The study shows that paying rural hospitals based on the rules used for urban hospitals could improve access to care in rural communities.
  • Revisions to Medicare's Disproportionate Share Payment Policy to Incorporate Bad Debt and Charity Care
    NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis
    Date: 09/2005
    Investigates the impact of possible changes to the Medicare disproportionate share (DSH) payment policy, designed to incorporate information on the hospital's uncompensated care burden as well as to improve the payment formulae. DSH payments were computed for individual study hospitals under six alternative models, and compared to the payments now made under current law. For each alternative, the authors examined the overall financial impact by type of hospital and the characteristics of hospitals that would experience either large payment increases or decreases relative to the current system. These analyses are intended to help policymakers evaluate the likely impact of revising the DSH payment methodology.
  • Why Are Fewer Hospitals in the Delivery Business?
    NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis
    Date: 04/2007
    Examines the declining availability of hospital-based obstetric services in rural areas from the mid-1980s to the early 2000s. Examines potential causes for this trend and explores the effects of medical malpractice reforms.