Uses of RUCAs in Health Services Research. L. Gary Hart, PhD. Presented at the Academy Health Annual Conference, Seattle, WA. June 2006. Download powerpoint presentation (as pdf).
Version 2.0 is now available. RUCA Version 2.0 is based on 2000 Census data and 2004 ZIP Code areas. This new data set was completed by the WWAMI Rural Health Research Center (RHRC) at the University of Washington and the Economic Research Service (ERS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Principal investigators are Dr. L. Gary Hart at the University of North Dakota, Dr. Richard Morrill at the University of Washington, and Dr. John Cormartie of the Department of Agriculture. We are currently working to expand this web site to include additional information regarding uses of the new RUCA codes. Download files include travel time, distance and other information. For RUCA Codes Version 1.11, click here
Version 2.0 codes for 2006 ZIP codes are now available. To view the 2006 codes Click here.
Travel time and distance information is now included in the RUCA download files. Travel time and distance to the nearest city of 50,000 or more and travel time and distance to the nearest city of 10,000 – 49,999 for each ZIP code are included. These times and distances can be used in combination with the RUCAs to refine their use (e.g., identify all RUCA 10.0 codes that are 60 minutes or more travel time from a city of 50,000 or more).
Information on the size of Urbanized Areas and Urban Clusters is now provided on the RUCA download files. This information can be used in combination with the RUCAs to refine their use. For instance, it can be used to subdivide the RUCA 1s and 4s by their populations and to subdivide into large, medium, and small cities.
Many products that utilize the RUCA codes have been published. For examples see:
- Danaher BG, Hart LG, McKay HG, Severson HH. Measuring participant rurality in web-based interventions. BioMed Central (BMC) Public Health Volume 7 (August 31, 2007).
- Rosenblatt RA, Andrilla CA, Curtin T, Hart LG. Shortages of medical personnel at community health centers: implications for planned expansion. Journal of the American Medical Association. Mar 2006; 295(9):1042-1049. Access from JAMA.
- Chan L, Hart LG, Goodman DC. Geographic access to health care for rural medicare beneficiaries. Journal of Rural Health. 2006;22 (2):140-146. Access from Pub Med.
- Skillman SM, Palazzo L, Keepnews D, Hart LG. Characteristics of registered nurses in rural versus urban areas: implications for strategies to alleviate nursing shortages in the United States. Journal of Rural Health 2006;22(2):151-157. Access from Pub Med.
- Lynge DC, Larson EH, Thompson MJ, Rosenblatt RA, Hart LG. A longitudinal analysis of the general surgery workforce in the United States. 1981-2005. Archives of Surgery, 143 (April 14 (4), 2008): 345-350. Access from Archives of Surgery.
- The RUCAs are now included on several federal national data sets (e.g., 2004 National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses and Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project).
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau. The Health and Well-Being of Children in Rural Areas: A Portrait of the Nation 2005. Rockville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2005. Click here to access the chartbook.