The Washington State Office of Community Health Systems, Rural Health section studies healthcare access and overall health in rural areas.
Healthcare Professional Shortage Area Maps
Medically Underserved Area and Population Map
Rurality Classification Maps
- Rural Urban Counties Map (PDF) - OFM Classification
- Urban, Suburban, Large Town, and Small Town/Rural Census Tract Map (PDF) - DOH Modified RUCA Codes Classification
Rural Health systems Research
Rural/Urban Definitions – What is rural?
Rural is defined in many different ways. The Department of Health document Rural Urban Classification System (PDF) provides guidelines for using rural urban classification systems for public health assessment.
Sub-County Level: Zip Code and Census Tract
Rural-Urban Commuting Area (RUCA) codes are the current "state-of-the-art" tool for classifying rural areas. The spreadsheets contain secondary RUCA codes that are based on Census 2010.
- 2010 RUCA codes by 2010 Census Tracts, January 2017 WA (Excel)
- 2010 RUCA codes by 2013 ZIP codes, October 2017 WA (Excel)
County Level Rural-Urban Classification Systems
The county level definition combines classification systems from several state and federal agencies to determine rural-urban status:
- Percent of population rural in Washington Counties (PDF)
- Summary of Commonly Used Rural Urban Classifications for Washington Counties (PDF)
- The UDS mapper is a tool that examines the health status of communities. State and local health officials, researchers and members of the public are able to identify how geographic or economic status hinders access to healthcare and who might benefit from expanded community health center programs, insurance subsidies in the newly formed insurance exchanges, or expanded Medicaid coverage.
Additional Health Data
- Publications/Additional Information
Below are several resources and publications, focusing on health and health related profile of rural populations, available from internal and external sources.
- Critical Access Hospital Charges, Due to Potentially Avoidable Hospitalizations, by Primary Payer Types: Washington State 2005-2014 (PDF)
- Four-tier Rurality Scheme Map (PDF)
- Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Rural Health Series
- Rural and Urban Counties Map (PDF)
- Rural Washington: Closing Health Disparities 2012-2015 (PDF)
- The Gap in Healthcare Insurance Coverage in Washington State 2011-2015 (PDF)
Contact the rural health epidemiologist at 360-236-2870 for more information about these reports and other rural health systems research.
Addictions and Substance Abuse Rehabilitation resources
- Washington State’s General Overdose Resource website –helping individuals and communities in Washington state respond to prevent opioid overdose.
- Washington Recovery Help Line – 24-hour help for substance, abuse, problem gambling, and mental health.
- The State Opioid and Overdose Response (SOOR) Plan has information about Washington State Opioid Response Plan and how the Health Care Authority (HCA) is joining partners across the state to implement the plan.
- Addictions.com includes general resources for a variety of addictions along with a local treatment center directory like how Narcotics.com helps people find local NA Meetings.
- Narcotics.com which helps people find local Narcotics Anonymous meetings and provides resources for various types of treatment including inpatient, outpatient, and support groups.
- Rehabs.org provides info for people at any stage of their recovery journey, including info on different types of therapy/recovery options, warning signs, how to talk to a family member, definitions of different types of treatment.
- FreeRehabCenters.org is about providing the most complete list of free, low-cost, sliding scale, and low-income assisted rehab lists on the Internet. Thousands of non-profit organizations were scoured that provide alcohol, drug, and other assistance with substance abuse rehabilitation.
Oral Health information
- Rural Health Clinic Dental Services Toolkit (PDF)
- Within Health created a guide, How Bulimia Can (Permanently) Affect Your Teeth, with advice on managing bulimia nervosa and oral health, as well as different remedies people with this condition can use to ensure they can get better and protect their oral health.
- Washington Oral Health Workforce Tracking Program led by the University of Washington Center for Health Workforce Studies provides relevant information about Washington’s oral health workforce that can be used to guide practice and policy to help ensure the state’s population has access to needed oral health care.
- Videos about working at a hospital or clinic, as a paramedic or volunteering in EMS and fire services
The Washington State Office of Rural Health and Primary Care Office support health systems planning and development in Washington's rural and underserved communities to improve health and healthcare across the life span.
- Financial Webinar Series: Rural Hospital and Rural Clinic
The State Office of Rural (SORH) at the Washington State Department of Health has partnered with Stroudwater Associates to offer to our rural hospitals and clinics a series of financial, operational, and strategic improvement topics in a Webinar format.
Webinar 1—Washington CAH – Revenue Cycle Management and Measurement
Webinar 2—Primary Care Options in Rural Healthcare
Webinar 3 — Market Analytics to Drive Decision Making
Webinar 4 — Performance Improvement Program: Integration of Finance and Quality
Webinar 5 — Washington RHC Legislative Update
Webinar 6 — Impact of Cost Report on CAH Decision Making
Webinar 7 — CAH Financial and Operational Best Practices
Webinar 8 – Swing Bed Development
- Critical Access and Rural Hospitals Annual Profiles
These snapshot profiles provide an understanding of each hospital and the services they offer.
Healthcare Access Reports
The healthcare access reports are informational reports collected as part of the Medicaid Provider Access Assessment. They are a snapshot overview of county-level workforce data, highlighting areas in Washington where a shortage of healthcare providers, servicing our undeserved, underprivileged populations, may exist. Reports are published as they are completed.
- Rural counties
- Urban counties
- Thurston (PDF)