Rural Models for American Health Care: Is Our Problem the Solution?

Award Year:
George Wright, Ira Moscovice
Healthcare Organization, Rural Health
Rural health care is often viewed solely as a perennial problem and the object of special needs. This study takes a different perspective many rural communities have also developed cost-effective, primary care-oriented, high-quality models that deserve careful attention. They represent America's homegrown alternative to the consolidation of health services and institutions, and to what patients often perceive as increasingly impersonal care. The investigators will test these assertions by reviewing the evidence on cost, quality, and system performance across rural areas from the viewpoint of strengths rather than weaknesses. By using small area analysis of rural health care to re-examine existing surveys, Drs. Wright and Moscovice will identify high performance systems and examine their generally lower costs. Three detailed case studies of successful models will be developed to help policymakers and administrators better understand the sources and small-scale difficulties of effective rural health care. Findings will enable the investigators to highlight lessons for improving service delivery in rural as well as urban America.