SUBMITTED NEWS RELEASE
A newly released University of Nevada School of Medicine report documents the diverse features of health and health care in rural and frontier counties of Nevada.
The “Nevada Rural and Frontier Health Data Book – 2011 Edition” contains a wide range of current information on the demography, population health, and the health care delivery system in rural and frontier regions of Nevada. It includes important data for public policy makers, health care professionals and administrators, rural health care advocates, and, importantly, the residents of rural and frontier Nevada.
“The primary purpose of the data book is to provide the health care community with the most comprehensive and accurate county-level data on population health trends and the health care system in Nevada,” said co-author John Packham, Ph.D., director of health policy research at the School’s Center for Education and Health Services Outreach. “The data book should also be valuable to anyone interested in learning more about health and health care in Nevada.”
A few of the many interesting findings presented in the report include:
- Nevada’s 14 rural and frontier counties have a combined population of 281,725 or 10.7% of the state’s population – these counties cover 95,431 square miles or 86.9% of the state’s land mass
- The average distance from a rural hospital to the nearest incorporated town is 46 miles and the average distance to the nearest tertiary care hospital in Reno or Las Vegas is 105 miles
- Over the past two decades, the state’s rural population has grown by 116,461 (70.5%), the rural Hispanic population has increased by 27,440 (177.6%), and the rural elderly population has increased by 27,096 (152.5%)
- In 28 of 33 health care occupations licensed by the State of Nevada, the per capita number of professionals is greater in urban counties than rural – for example, there are 185.4 physicians per 100,000 residents in urban areas of the state as compared to only 76.3 physicians per 100,000 residents in rural areas
- All 14 rural and frontier counties in Nevada are federally-designated Mental Health Professional Shortage Areas
- While there are high levels of uninsured Nevadans across all areas of the state, the percent of the population under age 65 that is uninsured ranges from 15.2% in Mineral County to 29.4% in Lincoln County
- 17.1% of the state’s rural population is enrolled in the Medicare program versus 12.1% in urban areas
- The state’s 15 rural hospitals employ 2,219 with a combined payroll of $117 million
The “Nevada Rural and Frontier Health Data Book – 2011 Edition” is divided into five major sections containing the most current data on:
- Demographic characteristics of rural and frontier Nevada, including recent population estimates and projections
- The social and economic characteristics of rural and frontier Nevada, including data on income, poverty, and educational attainment
- Population health status and health insurance coverage
- The health care workforce in rural and frontier Nevada, including numerous per capita data for many licensed health care occupations by county
- Health care resources and the economics of health care in rural and frontier Nevada
This expanded edition of the data book includes new information on veterans populations, variation in insurance coverage by age and gender, and population health in rural versus urban areas of the state.
The report was prepared by Packham and Tabor Griswold at the University of Nevada School of Medicine. A complete copy of the report can be downloaded here. For more information or to request a hard copy of the data book, please contact Packham at 775-784-1235.
As the state’s only public medical school, the University of Nevada School of Medicine has been a leader in healthcare, medical education and research in Nevada since 1969. The School of Medicine includes 16 clinical departments including family medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine, surgery, and psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and five nationally recognized departments in basic science including microbiology and biomedical engineering. The more than 185 doctors of University Health System, the school’s clinical practice, offer care in more than 40 medical specialties and subspecialties with eight physician offices in the Reno/Sparks area and seven in Las Vegas. The school is committed to a best practices approach to medicine and is dedicated to exceptional healthcare for Nevada now and in the future. For more information visit www.medicine.nevada.edu.