In a new research brief from The Journal of Rural Health, researchers discovered that while rural home-health is better at providing timely care, travel times and staffing issues can undermine efforts, leading to urban home-health having a better track record in keeping patients out of the hospital.

From the brief: “Rural agencies were less likely to be for-profit and accredited, and more likely to be hospital-based, serve both Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and have hospice programs. Rural agencies consistently outperformed on timely initiation of care over time, and urban agencies consistently outperformed on hospitalization and ED visits over time. These gaps between rural and urban agencies were steady over time except the gap in hospitalization, which slightly narrowed over time (Coef. = 0.11, P = .001 for urban and year interaction term).”

The researchers used national Home Health Compare and Providers of Service Profile data from 2014 to 2018, with showed 1,537 home-health agencies based in rural areas.

To see the rest of the research brief, click here.

SOURCE: The Rural Blog, Wiley Online Library