Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Agricultural Economics

First Advisor

Dr. Alison F. Davis


Background: As rural hospitals in Kentucky face insolvency, stakeholders must assess the value of rural hospitals as well as alternatives such as rural clinics and private physician offices.

Objective: To identify the value of attributes of healthcare facilities based on Kentucky’s rural residents’ willingness-to-pay (WTP).

Methods: A survey instrument was created and distributed to ten counties in rural Kentucky. A conditional logit model was used to obtain baseline values and then a mixed logit model was used to address heterogeneity among consumers in estimating WTP. WTP values incorporated respondents’ demographic characteristics and their health status from self-reported frequency of use of medical services and distance from these services.

Results: The results indicate that on average respondents were willing to pay $69.90 each year for the attribute of a facility that treats patients whether they have health insurance or not, compared to a facility that only accepts patients with private health insurance. Uninsured residents were willing to pay $81.15 for this attribute level.

Conclusion: The study suggests that uninsured residents value this attribute level of a facility that grants them access to care. Stakeholders may justify such welfare benefit amounts in support of the establishment or maintenance of such a facility.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)