Yvonne Jonk, PhD

North Dakota and NORC Rural Health Reform Policy Research Center

Phone: 701.777.0871
Email: yvonne.jonk@med.und.edu

Center for Rural Health
University of North Dakota


Current Projects - (1)

  • Cost of Running a Rural Ambulance Service
    This study will address the cost of running ambulance services in rural areas by organizational structure/source of funding, the factors contributing to differences in costs, and factors contributing to differences in financial viability.
    Research center: North Dakota and NORC Rural Health Reform Policy Research Center
    Topics: Emergency medical services (EMS), Healthcare financing

Completed Projects - (1)

  • Are Part D Plans Meeting the Needs of Rural Medicare Beneficiaries?
    The purpose of this project is to assess whether the Medicare Part D prescription drug plans available in rural counties are sufficient to meet the needs of rural Medicare beneficiaries.
    Research center: University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Medicare, Medicare Part D, Pharmacy and prescription drugs

Publications - (4)

  • Comparing Rural and Urban Medicare Part D Enrollment Patterns and Prescription Drug Coverage Rates
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 05/2013

    Examines Medicare Part D enrollment rates in rural and urban areas and the resulting impact on rural beneficiaries' overall prescription drug coverage rates.

    Key Findings:

    • Overall Medicare Part D enrollment rates increased from 55.5% in 2006, the first year of the program, to 61.4% in 2009. Annual increases were between 1 and 5 percentage points.
    • Rural Part D enrollment rates consistently lagged behind urban rates by 2 to 4 percentage points, increasing from 53.7% in 2006 to 58.6% in 2009, compared to urban rates increasing from 56.0% to 62.3%, respectively.
    • Geographic disparities in prescription coverage have greatly diminished over time: by 2009, prescription drug coverage rates topped 90% in both rural and urban areas. Rates of continuous uninsurance are approaching all-time lows of 7% in rural areas and 4% in urban areas.
    • Independent of geographic location, there is strong evidence of less-healthy beneficiaries enrolling in the Part D program, and no evidence of the Part D program crowding out private prescription drug coverage.
  • Does Rurality Affect Observation Care Services Use in CAHs for Medicare Beneficiaries?
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 10/2014

    Describes the use of observation services across levels of rurality by Medicare beneficiaries in CAHs, the demographics and health status of patients receiving these services, and the characteristics of their observation stays.

  • Observation Care Services for Medicare Beneficiaries in Rural Hospitals: Policy Issues and Stakeholder Perspectives
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 10/2014

    Describes the findings of a qualitative study aimed to gain a greater understanding of the rural policy context surrounding the use of observation care services by Medicare beneficiaries from 2010 to 2013.

  • Use and Performance Variations in U.S. Rural Emergency Departments: Implications for Improving Care Quality and Reducing Costs
    Policy Brief
    North Dakota and NORC Rural Health Reform Policy Research Center
    Date: 02/2015

    The purpose of this brief is to describe the geographic variation in the use of EDs for non- emergent health conditions across rural and urban areas as well as by U.S. Census Regions. Potential risk factors including patients’ socioeconomic characteristics, geographic location and level of primary care resources are identified. Quality of care indicators, limited to wait times and the length of the visit for rural and urban EDs, are also addressed.