Ira Moscovice Ph.D.

Mayo Professor of Public Health
Director, School of Public Health's Rural Health Research Center
University of Minnesota
Email: Discipline: Health Services Research Expertise: Health Services Research, Organization of Care, Rural Health Care

Investigator Award
Rural Models for American Health Care: Is Our Problem the Solution?
Award Year: 2001 Rural health care is often viewed solely as a perennial problem and the object of special needs. This study takes a different perspective many rural communities have also developed cost-effective, primary care-oriented, high-quality models that deserve careful attention. They represent America's homegrown alternative to the consolidation of health services and institutions, and to what patients often perceive as increasingly impersonal care. The investigators will test these assertions by reviewing the evidence on cost, quality, and system performance across rural areas from the viewpoint of strengths rather than weaknesses. By using small area analysis of rural health care to re-examine existing surveys, Drs. Wright and Moscovice will identify high performance systems and examine their generally lower costs. Three detailed case studies of successful models will be developed to help policymakers and administrators better understand the sources and small-scale difficulties of effective rural health care. Findings will enable the investigators to highlight lessons for improving service delivery in rural as well as urban America.


Ira Moscovice, Mayo Professor of Public Health, is director of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health's (SPH) rural Health Reserch Center and head of its Division of Health Policy and Management. He has written extensively on issues related to rural health care and the use of health services research to improve health policy decision making in state government. Dr. Moscovice is one of the leading rural health services researchers in the nation and was the first recipient of the National Rural Health Association's Distinguished Researcher Award in 1992. He has served as the principal investigator for numerous rural health studies funded by, among others, the federal Office of Rural Health Policy, CMS, AHRQ, RWJF and the Northwest Area Foundation. His current research interests include the development of rural quality and patient safety measures, implementation of quality and patient safety initiatives in rural environments, the operation and financing of small rural hospitals and evaluation of alternative rural health care delivery systems.