Tracking Study: Rural Healthcare Reveals High Value for Americans

June 12, 2012
iVantage Health

PORTLAND, Maine,TM June 12, 2012TM /PRNewswire/ —TM The latest update toTM Rural Relevance Under Healthcare Reform: A Tracking StudyTM was released today by iVantage Health Analytics, Inc. The new release includes analysis from the company’s data stores including: theTM Fifth Annual National Emergency Department Study,TM the Hospital Strength IndexTM and the 2011 CMS Shared Savings Data File for ACO Development.

The study recognizes the significant differences between healthcare in rural America compared to urban settings and the unique challenges that many safety net hospitals in sole provider communities face. This study nonetheless finds high value in rural healthcare. The study evaluates key performance measures across physician, outpatient, hospital and emergency department settings. The measures include: beneficiary costs, quality of care, patient safety, patient outcomes, patient satisfaction, facility costs and service pricing, market size, competition and demand growth factors.

The results reveal a narrow gap between rural and urban settings and pose important policy implications as the Affordable Care Act is implemented. The full Study is available for download:TM  Rural Relevance Under Healthcare Reform.

Summary Study findings reveal:

ApproximatelyTM $7.2 billionTM in annual savings to the Medicare program could be realized if the average cost per urban beneficiary were equal to the average cost per rural beneficiary. Medicare already benefits fromTM $2.2 billionTM of lower beneficiary costs for care delivered to rural beneficiaries vs. urban.

Physician services payments are 18% lower, Hospital service payments are 2% lower and Outpatient service payments are 14% higher for Medicare beneficiaries living in rural versus non-rural settings. Cost per Medicare beneficiary is 3.7% lower overall for rural vs. urban beneficiaries.

Hospital care value-based-purchasing measures under the PPACA for rural and urban performance are not significantly different across the series of measures including: process of care, readmission rates, mortality outcomes and satisfaction measures. Of note, the better performance by rural hospitals for patient satisfaction, costs and operational efficiency is reported. Also reported is a lower level of performance by rural hospitals on in-hospital risk-adjusted mortality.

Rural Emergency Department care is faster (thirty percent faster to see a doctor) and more efficient (two-thirds the total time in the ED), and results in less than half the hospital admissions in rural settings than in other national benchmark reports of all hospitals.

“Rural hospitals have achieved a noteworthy level of comparative performance including: demonstrated quality, patient satisfaction and operational efficiency for the type of care most relevant to rural communities,” saidTM John R. Morrow, EVP of iVantage Health. “While not all care is equal, and it is understood that much complex care is appropriately referred to tertiary care centers, the findings suggest, and the new law demands, that ACOs must manage populations in a variety of settings,” he added.

The misunderstanding that rural hospitals are more costly, inefficient and have lower quality and satisfaction is empirically challenged in this Study. As providers and developers seek to address the New Healthcare using innovative delivery models, the rural setting must be understood and included in all strategies for patient-centered care.

About iVantage Health Analytics

iVantage Health Analytics is a leading provider of information products serving an expansive healthcare industry. The company integrates diverse data into innovative delivery platforms to ensure customers’ timely, concise, and relevant strategic action.

iVantage Health helps healthcare executives gain strategic perspective across the entire enterprise, from Strategy and Planning to Clinical and FunctionalTM  Performance Benchmarking and Physician Strategy.  Our solutions blend our deep industry and operational expertise with internal benchmark analytics and strategic market information. That unique capability combined with leading edge technology pinpoints vital performance and growth opportunities for customers.

For iVantage Health Analytics contact:TM Kathy GillTM 615-932-8414

Source:TM PR NewswireTM (

No comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *