Health disparities and health equity

Current Projects

  • A Chartbook of Rural Population Health
    This project creates a chartbook of population health for rural areas. This resource is designed to allow policymakers and practitioners to better understand rural-urban disparities across a wide variety of population health indicators.
    Research center: North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center
    Topics: Health disparities and health equity, Public health
  • An Innovative Approach to Targeting Rural Communities in Public Health Funding
    The Centers for Disease Control launched a new initiative to address COVID-19 related health disparities and to advance health equity among underserved and at-risk populations. This effort included state funding to address the needs of rural communities. This project is designed to better understand this initiative and its impact on rural health.
    Research center: Southwest Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), Health disparities and health equity, Healthcare financing, Public health
  • Assessing Geographic Variability in Key Indicators of Water Quality and Air Quality: A Comparison of Urban vs. Rural Communities
    The purpose of this project is to compare air and water quality indicators across U.S. Census tracts specifically focusing on rural vs. urban differences.
    Research center: Rural and Minority Health Research Center
    Topics: Environmental and agricultural health, Health disparities and health equity, Public health, Social determinants of health
  • Availability of Healthcare Infrastructure in Minoritized Racial/Ethnic Groups
    This analysis will compare the likelihood that selected healthcare infrastructure elements are available within rural and urban ZIP Code Tabulation Areas that contain versus do not contain a high proportion of historically disadvantaged minority residents.
    Research center: Rural and Minority Health Research Center
    Topics: American Indians and Alaska Natives, Health disparities and health equity, Healthcare access, Hispanics, Home health, Long-term care, Minority health
  • Characteristics of Buprenorphine Therapy Among Commercially-Insured Pregnant and Postpartum Women
    This project will analyze claims from a national commercial insurance database to characterize buprenorphine therapy initiation persistence and adherence among pregnant and postpartum women with opioid use disorder (OUD) and assess differences in buprenorphine OUD treatment characteristics among rural and urban pregnant/postpartum women.
    Research center: Rural Health Equity Research Center
    Topics: Health disparities and health equity, Healthcare access, Maternal health, Substance use and treatment
  • Comparing Utilization and Quality of Home Health Care Between Medicare Fee-for-Service and Medicare Advantage Beneficiaries by Rural-Urban Status
    This project examines differences in home health use and quality by enrollment in Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) versus Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. Findings will include information on rural-urban and intra-rural variation in home health care to inform policies on access, payment, and quality for Medicare FFS and MA plans.
    Research center: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Aging, Allied health professionals, Health disparities and health equity, Health services, Healthcare access, Healthcare financing, Home health, Medicare, Medicare Advantage (MA), Post-acute care, Quality
  • Dentist Supply, Dental Care Utilization, and Oral Health Among Rural and Urban U.S. Residents: Exploring Changes in the Past 15 Years
    This project will describe the national supply of the rural and urban dental workforce and investigate whether rural adults, compared to urban adults, report lower dental care utilization, higher prevalence of dental disease or both. This study will also look at whether disparities in oral health care and supply have changed over the past 15 years.
    Research center: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Allied health professionals, Health disparities and health equity, Health services, Healthcare access, Oral health, Workforce
  • Diabetes Management in Urban and Rural Areas of the U.S.
    This project will use the IBM MarketScan database to examine differences in type 2 diabetes prevalence and monitoring for a commercially insured sample. It will also employ definitions from the Health Effectiveness Data and Information Set guidelines for comprehensive diabetes care to determine if rural residents are more or less likely to meet recommended standards for type 2 diabetes monitoring and control.
    Research center: Rural and Underserved Health Research Center
    Topics: Care management, Chronic diseases and conditions, Diabetes, Health disparities and health equity, Health promotion and disease prevention, Health services, Healthcare access, Private health insurance, Quality
  • Disparities in Screening, Prevention, and Management of Cardiovascular Disease in Rural and Urban Primary Care
    This study will use a large national primary care registry to compare cardiovascular disease (CVD) screening, prevention, and management quality measures between rural and urban primary care practices. It will also assess for disparities by patient composition (race/ethnicity, insurance) of the practice.
    Research center: Rural and Underserved Health Research Center
    Topics: Care management, Chronic diseases and conditions, Health disparities and health equity, Health promotion and disease prevention, Health services, Minority health, Physicians, Quality
  • Federal Agencies' Recent Collaboration and Innovation in Rural Cancer Control: A Model for Practice
    The investigators will conduct an examination of the multi-year effort by the National Cancer Institute to focus on rural cancer issues and its collaboration with the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. The project will explore the key pieces of evidence that served as the impetus for the emphasis on rural America in cancer control efforts.
    Research center: Southwest Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Cancer, Health disparities and health equity
  • Improving Racial Equity for Rural Mothers and Infants
    The purpose of this project is to assess differences in maternal and infant health outcomes and access to perinatal care, among urban and rural counties. We will also compare health outcomes and availability of services, including evidence-based services and supports, between rural counties that are majority Black, Indigenous, and People of Color with those that are majority white.
    Research center: University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: American Indians and Alaska Natives, Critical Access Hospitals, Health disparities and health equity, Healthcare access, Hospitals and clinics, Maternal health, Minority health, Rural statistics and demographics, Social determinants of health, Women
  • Inpatient Treatment Costs Associated with Substance Use Disorders
    The purposes of this project are to examine the costs and characteristics of inpatient stays associated with substance use disorders and to examine whether there are systematic differences in these stays and costs for persons residing in rural areas compared to urban areas.
    Research center: Rural Health Equity Research Center
    Topics: Health disparities and health equity, Healthcare access, Healthcare financing, Mental and behavioral health, Substance use and treatment
  • Living Alone: Rural-Urban Differences in Prevalence, Socio-Demographic Correlates, and Health Needs Across the Lifespan
    This project's purpose is to document rural-urban differences in the prevalence of living alone across different age groups, describe rural-urban differences in the socio-demographic correlates and health needs of individuals living alone, and identify rural-relevant policies and programs to support rural residents living alone across the lifespan.
    Research center: University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Health disparities and health equity, Social determinants of health
  • Longitudinal Trends in Community Mental Health Center and Federally Qualified Health Center Supply in Nonmetropolitan and Metropolitan Counties
    This study will describe how the supply of community mental health centers and Federally Qualified Health Centers has changed over time in nonmetropolitan and metropolitan counties nationally.
    Research center: Rural and Underserved Health Research Center
    Topics: Health disparities and health equity, Health promotion and disease prevention, Hospitals and clinics, Mental and behavioral health, Rural Health Clinics (RHCs), Substance use and treatment
  • Palliative Care in the Rural U.S.
    This project will describe the availability of palliative care services in rural hospitals and community settings using data from the American Hospital Association Annual Survey, interviews with palliative care providers, and a survey of rural hospitals without palliative care services.
    Research center: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Health disparities and health equity, Health services, Healthcare access, Hospice and palliative care, Hospitals and clinics
  • Racial and Ethnic Disparities Shouldered by Rural Americans: Evidence from the Peer-Reviewed and Grey Literature on the Five Leading Causes of Death
    A systematic review of peer-reviewed and grey literature will explore the role of racial and ethnic disparities in the five leading causes of death. The project will provide historical and context setting perspectives on the contributors to the five leading causes of death, particularly as they involve the intersection of rurality and non-majority demographic identities.
    Research center: Southwest Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Cancer, Chronic diseases and conditions, Health disparities and health equity, Minority health
  • Rural and Racial/Ethnic Disparities in COVID-19 Mortality Rates and Associations with Community Characteristics
    This project examines rural and racial/ethnic disparities in COVID-19 mortality rates during the peak of COVID-19 deaths (December 2020-January 2021). We will examine mortality rates across non-metropolitan and metropolitan counties overall and stratified by racial/ethnic composition and U.S. census region, and spatial regression methods will be used to identify community characteristics (e.g., rurality, sociodemographic, health conditions, and health care access) associated with mortality rates at the county level.
    Research center: RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Topics: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), Health disparities and health equity, Healthcare access
  • Rural and Urban Cancer Survivors' Follow-Up Care Experiences
    This project examines rural vs. urban differences in cancer survivors' follow-up care experiences using the 2017 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.
    Research center: Rural and Underserved Health Research Center
    Topics: Cancer, Care management, Health disparities and health equity, Health services, Healthcare access, Physicians, Post-acute care, Quality
  • Rural Family Physicians' Ability to Address Patients' Social Determinants of Health Needs
    This project examines how practice-level and community-level characteristics are associated with a family physician's assessment of their practice's ability to address patients' social needs.
    Research center: Rural and Underserved Health Research Center
    Topics: Health disparities and health equity, Physicians, Poverty, Social determinants of health
  • Rural Health Access: Affordability and Barriers to Care
    Rural-urban comparisons of healthcare access and affordability predate many policy reform efforts aimed at increasing access and decreasing costs—ongoing concerns of rural families. This study will use national health survey data to examine rural-urban differences in access to medical care, access to insurance, and affordability of care.
    Research center: Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Health disparities and health equity, Health reform, Health services, Healthcare access, Healthcare financing, Private health insurance, Public health, Social determinants of health
  • Rural Healthy People 2030: Challenges and Opportunities for the New Decade
    Building on Rural Healthy People 2010 and Rural Healthy People 2020, this project will help to launch Rural Healthy People 2030 and analyze variations in top-ranked Healthy People objectives for rural America. We will identify the most important objectives for rural Americans and how Rural Healthy People priorities have changed over time.
    Research center: Southwest Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Chronic diseases and conditions, Health disparities and health equity
  • Rural Poverty and Health: A Chartbook
    This chartbook will use nationally representative surveys and county-level data to provide a comprehensive overview of the health and wellbeing of rural Americans living in poverty.
    Research center: Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Health disparities and health equity, Health services, Healthcare access, Poverty, Rural statistics and demographics
  • Rural-Urban Differences in Child and Adolescent Mental Health pre and during the COVID-19 Pandemic
    This project examines rural-urban differences in the prevalence and severity of anxiety and depression among children and adolescents before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as examining rural-urban differences in access to mental health care professionals and the receipt of care from a mental health professional before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Research center: Rural and Minority Health Research Center
    Topics: Children and adolescents, Health disparities and health equity, Health services, Mental and behavioral health, Minority health
  • Rural-Urban Differences in Performance of Clinicians Participating in MIPS
    This project will use quantitative methods to compare MIPS performance and reported measures for clinicians working in rural and urban areas, overall, and by practice size; evaluate differences in spending per beneficiary, overall, and stratified by drugs and medical services for rural and urban clinicians participating in MIPS; and compare MIPS performance and spending for clinicians serving a large proportion of racial/ethnic minorities in rural and urban areas.
    Research center: RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Topics: Health disparities and health equity, Healthcare financing, Physicians, Quality
  • Rural-Urban Differences in Three Domains of Access to Health Care Services
    This study proposes to leverage 2018 and 2019 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data to examine rural-urban and racial/ethnic differences within rural in three domains of access to health care services (affordability, accommodation, and acceptability) that are less frequently examined in population-based surveys.
    Research center: Rural and Minority Health Research Center
    Topics: Health disparities and health equity, Healthcare access, Minority health
  • Rural-Urban Disparities in Mental Health Access and Quality in the United States
    The purpose of this project is to document the recent trends of mental health care access and quality in urban and rural communities and to assess the intersectionality of residence rurality and race/ethnicity on disparities in mental health care access and quality.
    Research center: Rural and Minority Health Research Center
    Topics: Health disparities and health equity, Healthcare access, Mental and behavioral health
  • Rural/Urban and Racial/Ethnic Inequities in Patient-Reported Health Care Access and Quality among Medicare Beneficiaries with Lung or Colorectal Cancer
    Incidence and mortality for colorectal and lung cancer are higher among rural versus urban residents, but many rural cancer patients lack accessible, high-quality care. This study will 1) Identify rural/urban inequities in Medicare cancer patient-reported health care access and quality and 2) Determine if rural racial/ethnic minority patients have worse health care access and quality than rural White patients.
    Research center: Rural and Underserved Health Research Center
    Topics: Cancer, Health disparities and health equity, Healthcare access, Maternal health, Medicare, Minority health, Quality
  • Rural/Urban Differences in Health and Health Care Access for LGBT Adults
    The purpose of this project is to identify rural/urban differences in health and health care access for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) adults. We will also identify within-rural differences among LGBT adults by race, ethnicity, age, disability status, and socio-economic status. Finally, we will identify examples of best practices supporting LGBT health and wellness in rural areas.
    Research center: University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Aging, Cancer, Disabilities, Health disparities and health equity, Healthcare access, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ+), Mental and behavioral health, Minority health, Poverty, Rural statistics and demographics, Social determinants of health
  • Rural/Urban Differences in Postpartum Health Insurance, Healthcare Use, and Health Outcomes
    The purpose of this project is to identify rural/urban differences in health insurance, healthcare use, and health outcomes among postpartum individuals, and to describe policy-relevant implications or strategies to improve insurance coverage, receipt of recommended healthcare, and, ultimately, health outcomes among rural residents who give birth. With a lens towards health equity, all analyses will be stratified by race/ethnicity and income.
    Research center: University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: American Indians and Alaska Natives, Health disparities and health equity, Healthcare access, Healthcare financing, Hispanics, Hospitals and clinics, Legislation and regulation, Maternal health, Medicaid and CHIP, Minority health, Private health insurance, Women
  • Safe Obstetric Care Access for All Rural Residents: Minimum Standards for Clinical, Workforce, and Financial Viability of Rural Obstetric Units
    The goal of this project is to analyze data from rural hospitals to understand the criteria by which hospitals and communities assess their need and capacity for obstetric care access in rural counties and to describe effective ways to operationalize minimum standards for clinical safety and financial viability for rural obstetric units.
    Research center: University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Critical Access Hospitals, Health disparities and health equity, Healthcare access, Hospitals and clinics, Maternal health, Women, Workforce
  • Specialist Physicians in the Rural and Urban U.S.: Supply, Distribution, and Access
    This project will describe the geographic distribution (rural/urban, regional, and intra-rural) of specialist physicians who care for patients experiencing conditions that account for the top four leading causes of rural mortality. It will also explore how patients in rural communities that lack these specialists obtain needed care.
    Research center: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Cancer, Care management, Chronic diseases and conditions, Frontier health, Health disparities and health equity, Health services, Healthcare access, Physicians, Social determinants of health, Telehealth, Workforce
  • Treatment, Provider, and Cost Differences for Rural and Urban Patients with Opioid Use Disorder and Medicaid Insurance Across the U.S.
    This project will analyze Medicaid claims data to compare the treatment that rural and urban patients with opioid use disorder receive, documenting the workforce providing care, the distance that patients travel to receive care, and the cost of care. Findings from this study can be used to improve policies regarding opioid use disorder treatment.
    Research center: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Health disparities and health equity, Health services, Healthcare access, Healthcare financing, Legislation and regulation, Medicaid and CHIP, Mental and behavioral health, Nurses and nurse practitioners, Pharmacy and prescription drugs, Physician assistants, Physicians, Substance use and treatment, Telehealth, Workforce
  • Unintentional Injury in Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Settings by Race or Ethnicity
    This study will describe the rates of fatal and nonfatal unintentional injury comparing metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas, stratified by race or ethnicity. This study will use Centers for Disease Control WONDER data (2014-2018) and the 2018 National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey.
    Research center: Rural and Underserved Health Research Center
    Topics: Emergency medical services and trauma, Health disparities and health equity