RUPRI Releases Nursing Homes in Rural America: A Chartbook. July 2022

The RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis released a Nursing Homes in Rural America Chartbook.

Policymakers are increasingly concerned about the availability of post-acute care and long-term care services in rural areas. In this chartbook, we define nursing homes as Medicare and/or Medicaid certified facilities providing post-acute care (skilled nursing facilities) and/or long-term care (nursing facilities) services.

Key Findings Include:

Availability of Medicare and/or Medicaid certified nursing homes and hospitals with swing beds

• Overall, 92% of counties in the United States have Medicare and/or Medicaid certified nursing homes but fewer noncore counties have nursing homes.

• About 96% of metropolitan and 95% of micropolitan counties have dually/Medicare certified or dually/Medicaid certified nursing homes.

• About 87% of noncore counties have dually/Medicaid certified nursing homes but only 82% of noncore counties have dually/Medicare-certified nursing homes.

• Average number of Medicare and/or Medicaid certified nursing home beds per 1000 individuals who are 65 or older are higher in noncore counties (50.2) than in metropolitan (35.6) or micropolitan (44) counties but there is considerable variation in the number of nursing home beds across rurality, states, and regions.

• A high proportion of noncore counties have hospitals with skilled nursing facility (SNF) swing beds (61%) or nursing facility (NF) swing beds (52%). But among noncore counties without hospitals with SNF or NF swing beds, 25% have no Medicare and/or Medicaid certified nursing homes.