Health services

Current Projects

  • Assessing Potential Unmet Need for Home Healthcare in Rural Areas
    This study will estimate potential unmet need for home healthcare in rural areas for fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries. We will compare rates of home healthcare utilization in rural areas with urban areas, accounting for acute hospital discharges and utilization of inpatient rehabilitation facilities and skilled nursing facilities.
    Research center: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Health services, Home health, Hospitals and clinics, Medicare, Post-acute care
  • 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
  • Emergency Obstetrics in Communities Without Hospital-Based Maternity Care
    The purpose of this project is to describe rural hospitals that do not provide obstetric services and to survey a sample of these hospitals regarding their capacity for emergency obstetrics locally in order to inform policy to support access to high-quality maternity care for all pregnant rural residents.
    Research center: University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Health disparities and health equity, Health services, Healthcare access, Hospitals and clinics, Maternal health, Quality, Women
  • Examining the Potential Impact of Multiple Payment Policies on Rural Versus Urban Home Health Agencies
    This study estimates the impact of three recent and upcoming Medicare home health payment policies (revised rural add-on payments, new prospective payment system, and value-based purchasing demonstration) on reimbursement for home health agencies based on rural-urban status, community factors, and home health agency characteristics.
    Research center: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Health services, Healthcare access, Healthcare financing, Home health, Medicare, Post-acute care
  • 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
  • Lung Diseases Among Coal Miners
    Coal miners are at increased risk of lung diseases. Using secondary datasets, we will assess the distribution of lung diseases across regions, identify patterns of healthcare utilization among miners relative to HRSA-funded Black Lung Clinics, and compare healthcare utilization patterns, behaviors, and comorbidities among miners and non-miners.
    Research center: Rural and Underserved Health Research Center
    Topics: Chronic diseases and conditions, Environmental and agricultural health, Health disparities and health equity, Health services
  • Making It Work: Models of Success in Rural Maternity Care
    The purpose of this project is to update information on access to obstetric services in rural counties, to identify common factors across rural communities that have maintained local hospital-based obstetric services, and to describe best practices associated with successfully supporting birth locally in rural communities.
    Research center: University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Health disparities and health equity, Health services, Healthcare access, Hospitals and clinics, Maternal health, Quality, Women
  • Mental Health Treatment Access: How Do Mental Health Treatment Use and Unmet Treatment Need Vary Among Rural and Urban Adults Nationally?
    This project will estimate the prevalence and policy-modifiable correlates of unmet mental health treatment need and utilization among metropolitan, micropolitan, and other non-metropolitan adults nationally who have a mental health condition. Additionally, the study will investigate the same issues among Native Americans/American Indians.
    Research center: Rural and Underserved Health Research Center
    Topics: American Indians and Alaska Natives, Health disparities and health equity, Health services, Mental and behavioral health
  • Patterns of Inpatient Care-Seeking by Rural Residents
    This study seeks to gain an understanding of inpatient care-seeking behavior by rural residents to provide insight into drivers of bypass rates, the extent to which a community uses a hospital other than its local rural hospital.
    Research center: North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center
    Topics: Health services, Hospitals and clinics, Medicare
  • Post-acute Care Trajectories for Rural Medicare Beneficiaries
    Utilization and costs of post-acute care for Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries have grown rapidly during the last decade. This study will examine post-acute care utilization for rural Medicare beneficiaries following acute hospitalization, describing use of home health and skilled nursing care and trajectories of care across settings.
    Research center: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Aging, Allied health professionals, Health services, Home health, Hospitals and clinics, Medicare, Nurses and nurse practitioners, Post-acute care
  • Predictors and Barriers to Achieving Immunization in Rural and Urban Areas
    Prenatal and timely childhood immunizations offer the optimal strategy for preventing severe morbidity and mortality due to vaccine-preventable disease. This project will evaluate possible gaps in immunization services for pregnant women and their infants in rural areas as compared to urban areas.
    Research center: Southwest Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Children and adolescents, Health promotion and disease prevention, Health services, Maternal health
  • Prehospital Emergency Medical Services Personnel: Comparing Rural and Urban Provider Experience and Provision of Evidence-based Care
    This study will describe the relationship between prehospital emergency medical services (EMS) providers' accumulated experience and provision of evidence-based care for rural and urban populations using newly available data on EMS agencies, personnel, and patient care.
    Research center: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Allied health professionals, Emergency medical services and trauma, Health services, 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
  • Understanding Rural Non-Emergent Emergency Department Use
    Research shows rural residents use emergency departments (ED) at higher rates than urban residents. Other studies suggest rural residents are more likely to visit the ED for a non-emergent reasons. This study uses the 2014-17 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey to analyze factors associated with rural versus urban residents' non-emergent use of EDs.
    Research center: Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Emergency medical services and trauma, Health services, Healthcare access, Hospitals and clinics
  • Variations in Travel Burdens Associated with Access to Care Between Rural and Urban Residents
    This project will focus on geographic access to medical and dental care, recognizing that travel time and distances can hinder individuals from obtaining necessary care. The study will explore the travel time and distances to care for specific sub-populations and in specific geographic settings, particularly urban versus rural residence and region.
    Research center: Southwest Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Health services, Healthcare access, Transportation
  • What Is the Geographic Distribution of the Workforce with a DEA Waiver to Prescribe Buprenorphine?
    This project updates statistics on the supply of providers (physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants) with a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) waiver to prescribe buprenorphine and examine supply trends over time and also establishes baseline numbers of other eligible providers (e.g., midwives, clinical nurse specialists).
    Research center: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Health services, Healthcare access, Mental and behavioral health, Nurses and nurse practitioners, Physician assistants, Physicians, Substance use and treatment, 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 will describe 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