A newly released University of Nevada, Reno 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 - Eighth 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 data relevant to 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 Tabor Griswold, Ph.D., a policy analyst in the medical school's Office of Statewide Initiatives. "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:
- In 2014, 17.3 percent of Nevadans under the age of 65 were uninsured, including 16.1 percent rural and frontier residents. Since 2008, the number of uninsured Nevadans under the age of 65 decreased by 112,883 or 21.3 percent - among rural and frontier counties, the number decreased 16,764 or 32.3 percent.
- Between 2011 and 2016, Nevada Medicaid enrollment has increased by 272,060 or 73.8 percent, including enrollment growth of 17,469 (52.2 percent) in rural and frontier counties.
- Infant mortality and other birth outcomes are slightly better in urban versus rural areas of the state - these differences may be a product of better access to prenatal and preventive services in urban counties. For example, 61.9 percent of pregnant women in rural and frontier counties received prenatal care in the first trimester, as compared to 69.3 percent in Clark County and 70.4 percent in Washoe County.
- In 2016, there were 190 licensed psychiatrists in Nevada - 189 reside in urban Nevada and only one psychiatrist resides in a rural or frontier county. Since 2006, the number of psychiatrists in Nevada has increased by 38 or 25 percent, yet the per capita number of psychiatrists has only increased from 6.0 to 6.8 per 100,000 population.
- Currently, an estimated 903,241 Nevadans or 31.7 percent of the state's population reside in a federally designated primary care health professional shortage area (HPSA) - eight of 17 counties in Nevada are single-county primary care HPSAs.
- Currently, 1.5 million Nevadans or 53.3 percent of the state's population reside in a federally designated mental health professional shortage area (HPSA) - 16 of 17 counties in Nevada are single-county mental HPSAs.
- Businesses in Nevada's health sector had a combined payroll of $6.5 billion in 2016 - when the income created in other non-health sector businesses as a result of health sector operating activity is included in the analysis, Nevada's health sector was responsible for an additional $2.8 billion in personal income for a total payroll impact of $9.4 billion.
The 2017 edition of Nevada Rural and Frontier Health Data Book 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 indicators, including a wide-range of information on morbidity and mortality trends in Nevada
- Health insurance coverage, including recent coverage gains resulting from the Affordable Care Act
- 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 updated information on veterans populations, insurance coverage trends, and population health in rural versus urban areas of the state.
The report was prepared by researchers in the Office of Statewide Initiatives at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine. For more information or to request a hard copy of the data book, please contact Griswold at (775) 682-8475 or by email.