New AHRQ studies identify ways that rural communities lack healthcare access in America

Two new studies funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) show how challenging it can be for residents of the nation’s rural areas to access mental health and hospital services. The research, published in the journal Health Affairs, looks at services provided in areas where about 60 million people, or one in five Americans, live. One of the studies found that rural residents with mental health needs received fewer mental health services than their urban counterparts from 2010 to 2015. The other found that rural residents often lose access to important clinical services (such as diagnostic imaging and primary care) following rural hospitals’ affiliation with larger health systems.

Kirby JB et al. Rural residents with mental health needs have fewer care visits than urban counterparts. Health Affairs 2019; Rural Health:(38)12. Accessible à : https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/full/10.1377/hlthaff.2019.00369 (Consulté 22-12-2019).
O’Hanlon CE et al. Access, quality, and financial performance of rural hospitals following health system affiliation. Health Affairs 2019; Rural Health:(38)12. Accessible à : https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/full/10.1377/hlthaff.2019.00918 (Consulté 22-12-2019).