Have you ever wondered about:

  • What new healthcare delivery models mean for you?
  • How recent rural health policy trends affect your clinic?

Need answers but not sure where to start?  Research can help!

What is Rural Health Research?

Rural health research refers to research that is completed with the aim of improving the health of patients in rural areas. According to the Rural Health Information Hub, rural health research may include investigation to uncover new insights, to assess a rural population’s needs, or to evaluate programs or services offered in rural areas. Rural health research can focus on a variety of topics, ranging from healthcare access to quality, cost, and outcomes.
Source: Rural Health Information Hub, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

How can Rural Health Research help your practice?

Rural health research serves to inform treatment interventions and approaches to care for patients of rural communities, ultimately having a significant impact on governmental policy. These policies influence factors such as health insurance reimbursements, affecting the way you establish, organize, and manage your practice. By staying attuned to new developments in the field of rural healthcare, your practice can make informed decisions on organizational practices and strategies. What’s more, by staying up to date with the latest in rural health findings, your organization will better be able to position itself for access to future grant or funding opportunities.   

Rural Health Research Group: Recent Projects, Publications, and Findings

“Addressing the Healthcare Needs of Rural Latinos” Project

The purpose of this ongoing project is to describe the complexity of the U.S. rural Latino population and its implications for rural healthcare delivery.

  • Latinos of Mexican origin make up the largest share of the rural Latino population in most states, ranging from 59% to 90% in 2010 (Area Health Resources File, 2014-2015).
  • The percentage of rural Latinos in Florida increased from 16.8% in 2000 to 22.5% in 2010 (Area Health Resources File, 2014-2015).

 “Cost of Practice Transformation in Primary Care: Joining an Accountable Care Organization”
The purpose of this study was to examine the costs related to practice transformation from the perspective of primary care organizations transitioning to become participants in Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs).

  • We analyzed data from an early stage of ACO development.

  • The cost per visit was higher in ACO RHCs than in matched non-ACO RHCs 

Impact of Nurse Practitioner Practice Regulations on Rural Population Health Outcomes”

The purpose of this study was to determine if clinical outcomes of older rural adult patients vary by the level of practice autonomy that states grant to NPs.

  • Strong indications suggest that the quality of patient outcomes is not reduced when the NP scope of practice is expanded.

Rural Health in the News

Stay up-to-date on developments of rural health news across the United States:

Rural, Remote, and Resilient: How to Build Better Outcomes Outside of America’s Cities

Alan Morgan’s wish list for rural America begins with such a fundamental ask, it’s easy to wonder why it belongs on a list of hopes and not realities.

“Access to basic primary care,” he said. “That’s really first and foremost.”

Next up is 24/7 emergency room service, followed by obstetrics services. Morgan, the CEO of the National Rural Health Association, sees these as not just lifesaving measures but also society-sustaining ones.

“Those three things really ensure the future of rural America,” he said.

More than 60 million people live outside cities in the United States, and those residents face higher rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and suicide. There’s no single cause for the effects, but experts point to environmental differences, workforce shortages, and education gaps as some of the most likely reasons for health disparities.

The unique elements of rural America that contribute to poor public health require a unique approach to solutions. As experts in assessment, development, and assurance—as well as members of these particular communities—rural public health professionals are perhaps best positioned to lead the way. How can they collaborate creatively within these regions and combat dwindling resources to foster better outcomes for their neighbors? READ MORE

Get Connected

The Rural Health Research Group (RHRG) is composed of a faculty and student research team representing multiple colleges at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida. The group brings together knowledge and expertise in primary care, nursing, economics, and statistics.

Our job is to stimulate research in the rural health community as well as support research projects using innovative designs and research strategies.

Does your clinic have research experiences to share? Looking for a starting point to become involved in research?


Contact Us

To learn more about rural health research or collaborate on a future project, contact:

Rural Health Research Group
University of Central Florida