Faculty Publications and Other Works -- Nursing

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Appalachia is one of the most medically underserved areas in the nation. The region has provider shortages and limited healthcare infrastructure. Children and adolescents in this area are in poor health and do not receive the needed quality care. Implementation of section 2302 of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) enabled children enrolled in Medicaid/Children's Health Insurance Program with a terminal illness to use hospice care while continuing treatment for their terminal illness. In addition to being more comprehensive than standard hospice care, this relatively new type of care is more culturally congruent with the end-of-life values of rural Appalachian families, who often view standard hospice as hastening death. The overall goal of this project was to investigate access to pediatric concurrent hospice care in Appalachia. Our central hypothesis was that concurrent care reduces rural/urban disparities in access to hospice care. Data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) used in this project was used and included 1,788 children who resided in the Appalachian region– from January 1, 2011, to December 31, 2013. Observations with missing birth dates, death dates, and participants older than 21 years were removed from the final sample. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) databases were created to map the boundaries of the Appalachian region, hospice locations, and driving times to them.

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