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Which Medicare Patients Are Transferred from Rural Emergency Departments?

Casey, M., McCullough, J., Kreiger, R.

Publication Date: June 2014


The purpose of this study is to analyze transfers of Medicare beneficiaries who received emergency care in a critical access or rural hospital and were transferred to another hospital for care. This policy brief addresses the following research questions:

  • Which rural Medicare patients are being transferred from CAH/rural hospital EDs to other hospitals? How many of these patients have a primary diagnosis of AMI, heart failure, pneumonia, stroke, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease? What other primary diagnoses are common for these patients?
  • How do Medicare patients who are transferred from rural EDs to larger hospitals differ from patients who are admitted as inpatients to the same rural hospital in terms of diagnoses?
  • Does the type of hospital (CAH,other rural, or urban) to which rural Medicare patients are transferred vary by diagnosis?

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