Master of Public Administration
Department or Program
The purpose of this study was to compare the quality of care rating for long-term care facilities in rural versus urban Illinois locations. Using quality of care data available on medicare.gov, 774 Illinois long-term care facilities were compared to determine if a difference in quality of care existed based on rurality. Each facility was classified as either urban focused, large rural city/town (micropolitan) focused, small rural town focused, or isolated small rural town focused using the Rural Urban Commuting Area (RUCA) codes provided by the Rural Health Research Center. Frequencies, ANOVA, and Scheffe tests were used to analyze the data. Significant differences were found between urban focused and small rural town focused long-term care facilities and also between urban focused and isolated small rural town focused in regards to inspection ratings. Significant differences were also found for general quality ratings between urban focused and large rural city/town (micropolitan) focused, small rural town focused, and isolated small rural town focused long-term care facilities. Urban focused locations had a mean inspection average of 2.72 stars out of a possible five compared to small rural town focused facilities that had a mean rating of 3.21 stars, and isolated small rural town focused facilities that had a 3.33 star average. Results also showed that general quality ratings were high, an average of 3.81 stars, for urban focused facilities, compared to an average of 2.84 stars for micropolitan facilities, 2.82 stars for small rural town focused, and 3.03 for isolated small rural town focused. Findings from this study offer some initial evidence that while overall quality in Illinois long-term care facilities are not significantly different on the basis of rurality, there are significant differences in inspection ratings and general quality ratings that could be attributed to degrees of rurality.