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Rural Health Policy Institute Conference

Research & Resources

For more than a decade, The Chartis Center for Rural Health's research has provided an important lens into the stability of the rural health safety net and we are delighted to once again share our latest analysis and research with rural healthcare leaders, advocates and members of the United States Congress during the National Rural Health Association's 33rd Annual Rural Health Policy Institute Conference in Washington, D.C. If you have questions about this research, please reach out to us at

Study <New>

Pandemic Increases Pressure on Rural Hospitals & Communities

Widening rural health disparities and health inequity, the return of reimbursement cuts, an emergent staffing crisis and vaccine hesitancy combine to threaten the stability created by pandemic-related relief.  

National and State Data Tables

Understanding Instability across the Rural Health Safety Net on a State-by-State Basis

Our national and state data tables bring clarity to the challenges rural hospitals face through state-by-state breakdowns of the key metrics including, operating margin, policy impact and rural hospital vulnerability. 

Research Heat Maps

Data Visualizations for Pressure Points Impacting the Rural Health Safety Net

To supplement our new study and Policy Institute materials, we've developed a series of 11 x 17 heat maps exploring key metrics such as closures and vulnerability, operating margin and health disparities and inequity.

Conference Presentation

Pandemic Increases Pressure on Rural Hospitals & Communities

As part of NRHA's Rural Health Policy Institute Conference, the Chartis Center for Rural Health's Michael Topchik reviews new research and insight into health disparities and inequity, the emerging staffing crisis and vulnerability of rural hospitals as we enter the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic. 


The COVID-19 Pandemic's Impact on Rural Hospital Staffing

The domino effect caused by the Delta variant’s surge across rural communities raises important questions about vaccination rate progress and the extent to which staffing challenges are impacting access to care. Our survey of national rural health leaders provides a perspective into this emerging crisis. 


Rural Health Disparities: New Challenges in the Aftermath of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Our analysis suggests that the socioeconomic disadvantages and health disparities dividing rural and urban communities may be widening. Particularly alarming are gaps in disparity measures between rural communities and those in which a rural hospital is vulnerable to closure.

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