Healthcare access

Research Products & Journal Articles

Browse the full list of research publications on this topic completed by the Rural Health Research Centers.

Products – Freely accessible products include policy briefs, fact sheets, full reports, chartbooks, and interactive data websites.

Journal Articles – Articles in peer-reviewed journals may require a subscription or affiliation with a subscribing library. For these publications, Gateway lists the article citation, a brief summary, a link to additional information and access to the full-text of the article, if available.

2020

2019

  • Access and Capacity to Care for Medicare Beneficiaries in Rural Health Clinics
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 12/2019
    Access to timely, high-quality healthcare is essential for health, but rural areas face particular barriers to access, including for primary care. We present findings from an online survey of RHCs describing clinic characteristics related to healthcare access for rural Medicare beneficiaries.
  • Access to Specialty Care for Medicare Beneficiaries in Rural Communities
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 12/2019
    Access to care is a challenge in many rural communities for both primary care services and specialty care services. We present findings from an online survey of Rural Health Clinics describing access issues for rural Medicare beneficiaries in seeking care from specialty care providers.
  • Partial Psychiatric Hospitalization Program Availability in Nonmetropolitan and Metropolitan Hospitals Nationally
    Policy Brief
    Rural and Underserved Health Research Center
    Date: 12/2019
    Partial psychiatric hospitalization programs (PPHPs) are intended to reduce or avoid inpatient stays by providing intensive psychiatric services in outpatient settings. We provide national estimates of PPHP availability among nonmetropolitan and metropolitan hospitals and describe the hospital characteristics associated with the provision of PPHPs.
  • Rural-Urban Differences in Access to and Attitudes Toward Care for Medicare Beneficiaries
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 12/2019
    Access to healthcare is important to health outcomes and well-being. Even among Medicare beneficiaries, access to care may differ by rural-urban location due to differences in the healthcare and socio-demographic landscape. We describe rural-urban differences in access to care for Medicare beneficiaries.
  • Strategic Choice in Developing Telemedicine - Observations from Three Organizations
    Report
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 12/2019
    Advances in technology have made it easier to provide telemedicine services, but the actual value of telemedicine programs for health systems providing those services or for patients has not been firmly established. This paper explores organizational motivations of three large health systems for incorporating telemedicine patient care services.
  • Community Health Worker Roles and Responsibilities in Rural and Urban America
    Policy Brief
    Southwest Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 11/2019
    The primary aim of this study was to understand the evolving profession of community health workers (CHWs) in the U.S. Through focus groups in rural and urban regions of four states, we explored CHW roles and responsibilities, the growing professionalization of the field, and evolving interactions between CHWs and other care providers.
  • Differences in Preventive Care Among Rural Residents by Race and Ethnicity
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 11/2019
    Disparities in preventive care by rural and urban location and by race and ethnicity are well documented in the literature, but less is known about whether there are differences in healthcare use among rural residents by race and ethnicity. We address this gap by examining differences in preventive care among rural residents by race and ethnicity.
  • Severe Maternal Morbidity and Hospital Transfer Among Rural Residents
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 11/2019
    In this brief, we compare hospital transfer rates for rural and urban residents who gave birth. We also provide descriptive information about the relationship between transfer status and severe maternal morbidity and mortality for rural residents nationally who gave birth 2008-2014.
  • Prescribing Practices of Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants Waivered to Prescribe Buprenorphine and the Barriers They Experience Prescribing Buprenorphine
    WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 10/2019
    This study surveyed rural and urban nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) with Drug Enforcement Agency waivers to provide medication treatment for opioid use disorder by prescribing buprenorphine. Rural NPs and PAs reported facing many of the same barriers to providing buprenorphine as rural physicians have reported.
  • Effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on Coverage and Access to Care in Metropolitan vs. Nonmetropolitan Areas through 2016
    Policy Brief
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 08/2019
    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as a whole led to notable increases in coverage rate and better access to care in both metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas, and the Medicaid expansion was the key driver of coverage gains in nonmetropolitan areas.
  • Measuring Access to Care in National Surveys: Implications for Rural Health
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 06/2019
    This brief presents data about how access to healthcare is measured, focusing on how this applies to rural populations.
  • Preventive Health Service Use Among Rural Women
    Policy Brief
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 04/2019
    This study used the National Health Interview Survey to examine differences in receipt of preventive health services among rural and urban women. It found that rural women are less likely to receive HPV vaccines and mammograms, even controlling for rural-urban sociodemographic and resource differences.
  • Dying Too Soon: County-level Disparities in Premature Death by Rurality, Race, and Ethnicity
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 03/2019
    In this brief, we examined county-level differences in premature death (years of potential life lost before age 75 per 100,000 people) by county-level racial and ethnic composition, across rural and urban counties. We also calculated whether there were rural-urban disparities in mortality within counties with similar racial and ethnic compositions.

2018

  • Assessing the Unintended Consequences of Health Policy on Rural Populations and Places
    Report
    RUPRI Health Panel: Rural Policy Analysis and Applications
    Date: 12/2018
    This paper explores the unintended consequences of health policy through an analysis of policy actions that have affected, or had the potential to affect, rural people, places, and/or providers in ways counteractive to policy intent.
  • Patterns of Telehealth Use Among Rural Medicaid Beneficiaries
    Rural Telehealth Research Center
    Date: 10/2018
    This study uses data from the 2011 Medicaid Analytic eXtract (MAX) to examine the prevalence of telehealth use among rural and urban Medicaid beneficiaries, characteristics of telehealth users, types of telehealth services provided, and diagnoses associated with telehealth use.
  • Health Insurance Marketplaces: Issuer Participation and Premium Trends in Rural Places, 2018
    Policy Brief
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 08/2018
    This brief assesses changes from 2014 to 2018 in average Health Insurance Marketplace plan participation and pre-subsidy premiums in rural and urban places. Insurance carriers reduced participation across both, while the gap between average premiums in expansion and non-expansion states is widening at a similar rate in rural and urban counties.
  • Medicaid Income Eligibility Transitions Among Rural Adults
    Policy Brief
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 08/2018
    The Affordable Care Act allows Medicaid expansion to adults under 65 with income below 138% of poverty. Research suggests income shifts affecting Medicaid eligibility are common, but the rural impact is unclear. This national study examines rural and urban adults' annual income shifts above or below the Medicaid expansion eligibility threshold.
  • Update: Independently Owned Pharmacy Closures in Rural America, 2003-2018
    Policy Brief
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 07/2018
    Rural pharmacies play an important role in health service delivery to rural populations. This RUPRI Center brief updates previous findings on the continued decline in the number of independently owned rural pharmacies since the implementation of Medicare Part D. This brief provides follow-up data on rural pharmacy closures through March 2018.
  • Geographic Distribution of Providers With a DEA Waiver to Prescribe Buprenorphine for the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder: A 5‐Year Update
    WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 06/2018
    This study compares the geographic distribution of physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners waivered to prescribe buprenorphine in 2012 and 2017.
  • Geographic Variation in the Supply of Selected Behavioral Health Providers
    WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 06/2018
    This study examined the supply of select behavioral health providers by metropolitan, micropolitan, and non-core county and Census Division. Psychiatrists, psychologists, and psychiatric nurse practitioners are unequally distributed throughout the U.S., with disparities between Census Divisions and rural vs. urban areas.
  • Prescribing Practices of Rural Physicians Waivered to Prescribe Buprenorphine
    WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 06/2018
    This study finds more than 60% of rural counties don't have a physician waivered to prescribe buprenorphine, which is used to treat opioid use disorder.
  • Beyond Clinical Complexity: Nonmedical Barriers to Nursing Home Care for Rural Residents
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 02/2018
    Using data from interviews with rural hospital discharge planners, we identified four themes around nonmedical barriers to rural nursing home placement with particular salience in rural areas: financial issues, transportation, nursing home availability and infrastructure, and timeliness. We also identified policy and programmatic interventions.
  • Distance and Networks: A Regional Analysis of Health Insurance Marketplaces
    Policy Brief
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 02/2018
    Using 2015-16 data on 15 Midwestern states, we examine the possibility that geographic distance to care plays a role in insurance issuer participation, premiums, and enrollment success through its effect on network adequacy and assess the moderating role that state-level policies on network adequacy standards and Rating Area design may have.
  • 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).

2017

  • Barriers to Nursing Home Care for Nonelderly Rural Residents
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 12/2017
    This study uses data from 23 semi-structured interviews with rural hospital discharge planners in five states to identify specific barriers to finding nursing home care for nonelderly rural residents. We found three primary themes—payment status, fit, and medical complexity—as well as two minor themes—caregivers and bureaucratic processes.
  • Home is Where the Heart Is: Insights on the Coordination and Delivery of Home Health Services in Rural America
    Policy Brief
    North Dakota and NORC Rural Health Reform Policy Research Center
    Date: 08/2017
    Access to home health in rural areas is an important public policy concern, particularly with the growing number of older adults residing in rural America. This qualitative study seeks to better understand how home health services are provided in rural areas, and identifies facilitators and barriers to providing care.
  • The Role of Public versus Private Health Insurance in Ensuring Health Care Access & Affordability for Low-Income Rural Children
    Policy Brief
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 01/2017
    Medicaid and CHIP have played a critical role in ensuring access to health coverage among children –particularly rural children. This study examines rural-urban differences in children's access to care, and their families' perceived affordability of that care among those enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP, and those with private insurance plans.

2016

2015

  • Dentist Supply, Dental Care Utilization, and Oral Health Among Rural and Urban U.S. Residents
    Report
    WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 05/2015
    Residents of non-metropolitan counties were less likely than those in metropolitan counties to report having dental visits or teeth cleanings in the last year and more likely to report undergoing tooth extractions. These findings persisted even when controlling for demographic factors, income, insurance, and health/smoking status.
  • A Rural Taxonomy of Population and Health-Resource Characteristics
    Policy Brief
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 04/2015
    This brief reports the newly developed taxonomy of rural places based on relevant population and health-resource characteristics and discusses how this classification tool can be utilized by policymakers and rural communities.
  • Surgical Services in Critical Access Hospitals, 2011
    Policy Brief
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 02/2015
    This brief describes the types and volume of major surgical services provided in critical access hospitals across four regionally representative states in 2011.

2009

  • A Case Study of Rural Health Care in the Economic Downturn
    North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center
    Date: 07/2009
    This report describes the economic and healthcare environment in Ashe County, a rural community in the mountains of western North Carolina. The experience in Ashe County exemplifies the healthcare challenges faced in many rural areas across the country.
  • Rural-Urban Differences in Health Care Access Vary Across Measures
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 06/2009
    Higher uninsured rates and workforce shortages in rural areas suggest that rural residents face greater barriers to accessing healthcare than their urban counterparts. Analysis of the 2006 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey found mixed results.

2007

2006

  • Care Across the Continuum: Access to Health Care Services in Rural America (2006)
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 2006
    The article is divided into 3 sections: 1) basic principles that determine services to be included in the continuum and how success in providing those services is judged; 2) definition of the continuum and its basic stages based on the health systems research literature; 3) applications of the continuum and policy implications of the framework.

2005

2004

  • Access To Primary Care And Quality Of Care In Rural America
    NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis
    Date: 06/2004
    This report provides findings from a population-based study addressing the impact of the availability of healthcare resources on the rate of potentially avoidable hospitalizations. It suggests shortcomings with previous research conducted in communities that experienced problems accessing primary care services.

2003

2002

1997