NCHS Data Briefs
NCHS Data Briefs from the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The following reports have been added:
NCHS Data Brief, No. 159 - Rural Residents Who Are Hospitalized in Rural and Urban Hospitals: United States, 2010
In 2010, 17% of the U.S. population lived in rural (nonmetropolitan) areas. Many rural areas are medically underserved due to physician (especially specialist) shortages. Rural hospitals often are small, with a low volume of services, and have difficulty remaining financially viable under the regular hospital prospective payment system. Special Medicare hospital payment categories have been established so that rural residents have access to hospital care without traveling to urban areas. The share of rural residents’ hospitalizations that take place in urban (metropolitan) compared with rural hospitals has been of interest for a number of years. Those who go to urban hospitals have been described as “bypassing” rural hospitals. This data brief compares characteristics of rural residents who stay in rural areas with those who travel to urban areas for their inpatient care.