An expanding framework for rural patients who travel for health care
AuthorSweeney Fee, Sharon K.
KeywordsHealth Sciences, Nursing.
Health Sciences, Public Health.
Health Sciences, Health Care Management.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis exploratory study utilized Donabedian's Quality model to develop a framework to study patients who must migrate for health care. One year of the Arizona Department of Health Services Discharge Database was used to analyze patient characteristics that influenced discharge travel and the impact of distance on risk adjusted patient outcomes. Geographic Interface software was used to identify rural patients, defined as those with zip codes farther than thirty miles from hospitals. Zip Code analysis was used to create distance variables between 31 and over 300 miles. The key findings for patients who traveled greater distances included larger hospitals, emergency admission type, private insurance, critical care services, and Neuro/Ortho/Trauma diagnosis group. Patients which traveled shorter distances included smaller hospitals, referral or transfer admit source, AHCCCS insurance (or Medicaid) and Women's Health diagnosis group. Outcomes were risk adjusted using age and distance was significant for both number of procedures and length of stay. Patients who traveled farther received fewer procedures and had a greater length of stay. A preliminary cost analysis of the length of stay outliers identified approximately four million dollars in potentially non-reimbursable charges.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Degree GrantorUniversity of Arizona
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