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Welcome to the South Carolina Rural Health Research Center

We focus on investigating persistent inequities in health status within the population of the rural US, with an emphasis on inequities stemming from socioeconomic status, race and ethnicity, and access to healthcare services.

We strive to make our research findings useful to organizations and individuals working to improve the quality of life for rural residents.

The Center allows us to build on and expand our ongoing cooperative research partnerships with other key organizations - government, academia, health services delivery and the rural community who can join our quest to improve the health of rural Americans.

SCRHRC Releases Home Health Care Agency Availability In Rural Counties Report

A range of medical services can be provided in the home setting, allowing patients to be discharged from hospital or inpatient rehabilitation settings more quickly. Medicare reimburses for six types of home health care: skilled nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology, medical social work, and home health aide services. In November 2011, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services modified Medicare reimbursement for home health care, seeking to control costs by reducing inflation-associated adjustments in charges. In the past, changes in reimbursement may have affected rural home health care agencies more adversely than those in urban areas. The purpose of the current report is to describe the status of home health care service delivery in the rural U.S. in 2008, before passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and related efforts.

We used Medicare Compare Home Health Agency files for 2008 to examine two aspects of home health care (HHC) across the U.S.: HHC agency availability and quality of services provided. Home health agencies are required to report the geographic areas they serve by ZIP Code; they are also required to report quality results across a range of 12 outcomes. This report is based on agency reports; we did not independently verify that services were actually provided within all listed areas.

Contact information:
Dr. Janice Probst
South Carolina Rural Health Research Center
Phone: 803-251-6317

SCRHRC Announces the Passing of its Founding Director, Dr. Michael E. Samuels

It is with deep sorrow that the South Carolina Rural Health Research Center announces the passing of its founding Director, Dr. Michael E. Samuels.

fji Dr. Samuels, subsequent to service with the US Navy, had an outstanding public health career and a pronounced effect on rural health across the US. Early in his career with the US Department of Health and Human Services, he obtained the legislative authority and implemented the Health Underserved Rural Areas Research Program in the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), predecessor to the current Office of Rural Health Policy. In recent years, Dr. Samuels received both the Distinguished Research Award (2002) and the Distinguished Educator Award (2010) of the National Rural Health Association, as well as the C. Everett Koop Medal of Appreciation from the Koop Institute (2005).

Dr. Samuels's passion for social justice motivated a long career in public health administration and public health education. Throughout that time, he never stopped fighting for equitable health care for rural poor, underserved and minority populations. We honor his memory and are inspired further to continue his work.

SCRHRC Responds to MedPAC Suggestion that Rural Medicare Supports Are Too Broad

In the November, 2013 issue of Health Affairs, Jeffrey Stensland and associates from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission published an analysis of use of services by rural and urban Medicare beneficiaries The authors suggest that rural and urban beneficiaries generally have similar levels of access and satisfaction. Because of this approximate equality, they conclude that financial supports to rural providers are no longer broadly needed and should be restricted to specific target areas.

The SCRHRC believes that the conclusion that rural programs are no longer needed is based on flawed assumptions and does not fully consider all of the populations affected. Our response to the article by Stensland and associates is now available on the Health Affairs site [Link here]. While only one author is noted, all SCRHRC senior faculty participated in developing this assessment (Bennett, Glover, Martin, Probst).

Dr. Jan Probst Is A Featured Guest on An Program of The Carolinas Business Review, ETV

Dr. Jan Probst, director of the S.C. Rural Health Research Center, is a featured guest on an program of Carolina Business Review, which airs on Educational TV.

The program, titled "Mental Health Policy in the Carolinas," airs in two parts. Now the aired programs are carried on YouTube -- Part 1:; Part 2, Please visit Arnold School news here for more details.

>> Read More SCRHRC's News and Events




Defining the Rural HIV Epidemic

The publication of Defining the Rural HIV Epidemic: Correlations of 3 Definitions-South Carolina, 2005-2011 in The Journal of Rural Health in the December 2013 issue helps to gain a better understanding of the HIV epidemic in rural South Carolina.

Higher Risk of Death In Rural Blacks And Whites Than Urbanites

South Carolina Rural Health Research Center is pleased to announce the publication of Higher Risk Of Death In Rural Blacks And Whites Than Urbanites Is Related To Lower Incomes, Education, And Health Coverage in the October 2011 issue of Health Affairs..


Home Health Care Agency Availability in Rural Counties

We used Medicare Compare Home Health Agency files for 2008 to examine two aspects of home health care (HHC) ... Read more...

Racial and Rural Differences in Cervical Cancer Prevention

We examined differences in receipt of cervical cancer screening and HPV vaccination .... Read more...

Dental Sealant Among Childern

Children at greatest risk of subsequent decay because they lack dental sealants .... Read more.

Rural Border Health Chartbook

Our chartbook describes select indicators related to access to care, .... Read more