Rural Vs. Urban Ancillary Services

According to Ancillary Care Services (ACS), a subsidiary of American Care Source Holdings Incorporated, ancillary services refers to the wide range of healthcare services provided to support the work of a primary physician. These services can be in three categories: diagnostic, therapeutic, and custodial.

  • Diagnostic      services include laboratory tests, radiology, genetic testing, diagnostic      imaging, and more.
  • Therapeutic      services range from rehabilitation to physical and occupational therapy,      as well as massage, chiropractic services, and speech therapy.
  • Custodial      services include everything from hospice care and long-term acute care to      nursing facilities and urgent care.

The way that health care services offered in rural and urban areas differ according to the research conducted included minority data between the two ranges from Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys from the years of  2005 to 2010; geographic information from the American Community Surveys of 2005 to 2009; and Area Health Resource Files from 2010 with discrepancies to the access of health care. “They concluded that rural status confers additional disadvantage for most of the health care use measures, independently of poverty and health care supply – in rural areas, common explanations for racial/ethnic disparities in access to health care include that a greater proportion of African Americans and Hispanics live in areas with fewer collective resources, higher rates of poverty, and lower levels of health care supply.” (Caldwell et. al, 2016)

Some disadvantages that patients in rural areas encounter mainly generalize around being geographically isolated, especially for African Americans and Hispanics who inhabit these areas. “The isolation of rural areas leaves people needing to travel farther for health care and facing difficulties accessing transportation. Regardless of place, historical legacies of racial oppression and subjection may also perpetuate the stigma of racial/ ethnic minorities and new ‘outsider’ groups. These experiences may present barriers within and outside the health care system. Another disadvantage would be maldistribution. It is hard to achieve health care coverage for the uninsured but also for addressing indistinctly linked workforce problems such as shortages and skill imbalances. Often the problem may not be the absolute number of workers, but the type of workers trained and their job location. National shortages often may be juxtaposed with rural vacancies and urban unemployment.” (Chen, 2010)


Caldwell, J. T., Ford, C. L., Wallace, S. P., Wang, M. C., & Takahashi, L. M. (2016). Intersection of Living in a Rural Versus Urban Area and Race/Ethnicity in Explaining Access to Health Care in the United States. American journal of public health, 106(8), 1463–1469.

Chen, Lincoln C. “WHO | Striking the Right Balance: Health Workforce Retention in Remote and Rural Areas.” WHO, May 2010,


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