Date: May 31, 2022
Association Between Rural Hospital Service Changes and Community Demographics
This brief investigated the association between the proportion of a rural community belonging to an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality-identified priority population and local hospital service changes. The results suggest that recent trends in service availability are often similar when comparing hospitals in non-metro counties with larger versus smaller priority populations. In aggregate, from 2011-2017, hospitals in non-metro counties generally experienced a net decrease in the availability of obstetric services and skilled nursing services and a net increase in the availability of oncology services, hospital-based outpatient services, orthopedic services, and emergency psychiatric services. Aggregate changes in the availability of home health and chemotherapy were generally smaller in magnitude. These aggregate results are consistent with previous work on rural hospital-based service availability.
George H. Pink, PhD
North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center
Additional Resources of Interest:
- Changes in Provision of Selected Services by Rural and Urban Hospitals Between 2009 and 2017
- More information about the North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center
- More information from the Rural Health Information Hub’s topic guides: Healthcare Access in Rural Communities, Rural Hospitals, Rural Health Policy
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