Start of Main Content

Healthcare Insights

Top 25 rural health clinics by total visits

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), rural health clinics were established in 1977 as a method of providing healthcare access to Medicare patients in rural areas of the U.S. This includes access to physicians as well as other healthcare professionals, such as nurse practitioners, physician assistants, clinical psychologists, and more.

Definitive Healthcare tracks over 6,000 rural health clinics (RHCs), more than 5,200 of which are currently active. These facilities focus on providing both primary care as well as preventive care to Medicare patients across the rural U.S.

In order to qualify as a rural health clinic, facilities must meet specific criteria, including:

  • Location in a non-urbanized area as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau
  • Employ at least one nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant
  • Have a nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant, or nurse-midwife working at least half the time a clinic is open
  • Offer routine diagnostic services and more

Using Definitive Healthcare’s ClinicView product, we created a list of the top 25 rural health clinics ranked by their total number of patient visits, according to the most recent 12-month interval tracked in our database.

Top 25 rural health clinics with the most visits

RankRural Health Clinic NameDefinitive IDCityStateTotal VisitsExplore dataset
1San Luis Walk-in Clinic - Babbitt Lane7490San LuisAZ269,411Explore
2UnityPoint Clinic Family Medicine - Belle Plaine8050Belle PlaineIA190,459Explore
3Primary Care Centers of Eastern Kentucky - Hazard8396HazardKY178,904Explore
4Quincy Medical Group - 1025 Main11572QuincyIL172,854Explore
5Hutchinson Clinic - Hutchinson8320HutchinsonKS134,070Explore
6Family Health Care Associates - Pineville10744PinevilleWV129,508Explore
7Access Medical Clinic - Salem955214SalemAR111,069Explore
8Physicians Park Primary Care9639Poplar BluffMO110,799Explore
9Beverly Hills Medical Clinic7704Beverly HillsFL106,331Explore
10Evergreen Family Medicine10393RoseburgOR94,402Explore
11Jones Regional Medical Center Family Medicine - Anamosa8491AnamosaIA91,995Explore
12Medical Arts Clinic9913FarmingtonMO84,021Explore
13London Womens Care9093LondonKY77,887Explore
14Walla Walla Clinic - Main Campus11607Walla WallaWA75,005Explore
15East Mississippi Medical Clinic9029MeridianMS71,750Explore
16Clark Clinic - Sumter County Clinic7787BushnellFL69,446Explore
17Pediatrics In Brevard - Melbourne7783MelbourneFL67,520Explore
18Lynden Family Medicine10894LyndenWA67,508Explore
19Quantum Healthcare Associates9465HazardKY65,276Explore
20Mercy Clinic Family Medicine - Lebanon10140LebanonMO64,734Explore
21Center for Medical Arts Rural Health8355CarbondaleIL63,497Explore
22CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic - Mineola11151MineolaTX62,475Explore
23Memorial Physician Services - Jacksonville7995JacksonvilleIL57,530Explore
24Quincy Medical Group - Pittsfield7807PittsfieldIL56,684Explore
25Hannibal Clinic - Hannibal10136HannibalMO55,503Explore

Fig. 1 Data is from the Definitive Healthcare ClinicView product and aggregated from the most recent 12-month interval tracked in our database. Data is sourced from the July 2023 Medicare Cost Report release. Accessed October 2023.

Which rural health clinics have the most total visits?

San Luis Walk-in Clinic - Babbitt Lane had by far the most patient visits last year with 269,411. Located in San Luis, Arizona, this rural health clinic had nearly 70,000 more visits last year than the next highest clinic on the list. The clinic itself is located only a few blocks away from the Mexican border, which serves as one of the largest entry points into the U.S. As the closest walk-in clinic to the border, it may be the first opportunity for care for many people entering the country as well as the last option for those who are leaving, explaining the facility’s high visitor numbers.

The rural health clinic with the second-highest volume of patient visits last year was UnityPoint Clinic Family Medicine - Belle Plaine, with 190,459. The clinic is located in Belle Plaine, Iowa which is surrounded by farmland for dozens of miles in every direction. This walk-in clinic is one of the only care options for the over 25,000 citizens of Benton County, which could explain why its visitor numbers are so high.

Rounding out the top three is Primary Care Centers of Eastern Kentucky – Hazard with 178,904 patient visits last year. This clinic is located in Hazard, Kentucky, in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains, and is the only central medical hub in the region. Before the facility was established in 2003, people in this region used to travel long distances across difficult mountainous terrain for medical, dental, and pharmaceutical care. Bringing together all of these types of care in one centralized location likely contributes to this facility’s high annual patient volumes.

Do more patient visits mean higher total costs at rural health clinics?

Interestingly, the number of visits reported by rural health clinics did not necessarily correlate to total costs. Memorial Physician Services - Jacksonville ranked 23rd for total number of visits, but had higher total costs than the entire top 10 on this list. Higher costs could be attributed to a variety of factors, including health system membership, location, patient demographics, and more. For more on rural health clinics, review our list of the top 10 rural health clinics by total cost.

How many rural health clinics are in the U.S.?

Definitive Healthcare currently tracks 5,252 active rural health clinics in its ClinicView platform. According to the National Association of Rural Health Clinics (NARHC), these clinics provide primary care services to over seven million people across 47 states. The states that have the most rural health clinics in the U.S. are Missouri (342), Kentucky (355), and Texas (332).

In addition, many rural health systems belong to state-wide health systems. Of the clinics mentioned in the list above, 52% reported being affiliated with one. Health systems can support clinics by providing resources for diagnostics and other laboratory services. Health system membership could also aid in securing staffing, either through the health system itself or through negotiations with a staffing company.

Learn more

Healthcare Insights are developed with healthcare commercial intelligence from the Definitive Healthcare platform. Want even more insights? Start a free trial now and get access to the latest healthcare commercial intelligence on hospitals, physicians, and other healthcare providers.