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Health Aff (Millwood). 2008 Nov-Dec;27(6):1707-17. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.27.6.1707.

Hospital remoteness and thirty-day mortality from three serious conditions.

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  • 1Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, New York City, USA.

Erratum in

  • Health Aff (Millwood). 2009 May-Jun;28(3):929.


Rural U.S. communities face major challenges in ensuring the availability of high-quality health care. We examined whether hospital-specific, all-cause, thirty-day risk-standardized mortality rates (RSMRs) following acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, and pneumonia varied by hospitals' geographic remoteness. We analyzed 2001-2003 Medicare administrative data, comparing RSMRs among hospitals located in urban, large rural, small rural, or remote small rural regions. We found only small mortality differences across remoteness regions for hospitalizations for the three conditions. We examine the implications of these findings for the millions of Americans who rely upon rural hospitals for their care.

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