Rural Medicare Patients Less Likely To Receive Proper Follow-Up Care

May 20, 2016

Credit PROFotos GOVBA / Flickr Creative Commons

Note: This is a rebroadcast  

Visiting the hospital in a rural area can be a challenge for Medicare patients because of scattered locations and a lack of healthcare professionals. But returning to the hospital for a follow-up visit is even more difficult, according to a new study from researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

The report shows Medicare beneficiaries in rural settings are 19 percent less likely to receive adequate follow-up care within 30 days compared to patients in urban areas. This may lead to a higher risk of readmission and more emergency department visits for Medicare beneficiaries discharged from rural settings.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Matthew Toth, a public research health analyst from RTI International. Toth is lead author of the study and conducted the research as a doctoral student at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.