Understanding and Facilitating Rural Health Transformation

Profiles in Innovation

Innovations in rural health care delivery and finance are emerging across the nation. The profiles below describe exciting, and potentially replicable, innovations in rural health care that show promise in improving health, improving care, and lowering costs.

Rural Health System Value-Based Care Innovators Roundtable: Strategies and Insights - This report describes interviews with five health systems supporting value-based care in their rural affiliates. Interview topics included organizational structure, governance and decision-making, operations, data and communication, contracts, and social determinants of health. The report includes common health system tensions and opportunities as they facilitate rural affiliate success in value-based care. (2022)

Experience in the Pennsylvania Rural Health Model: Barnes-Kasson County Hospital - A critical access hospital in Susquehanna, PA provides insight into their experience participating in the Pennsylvania Rural Health Model, which includes a global budget and transforming care to address community health needs. (2022)

MaineHealth ACO – Integrating and Using Data to Support Care Delivery - A predominantly rural network of hospitals and clinics in Maine integrates clinical and claims data to support improvements in care delivery and target patient needs as part of their Accountable Care Organization. (2022)

Vermont’s All-Payer Accountable Care Organization Model - Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center’s (MAHHC) Experience - Vermont’s dominant payers have partnered to test an alternative payment model statewide that requires health care organizations like MAHHC to innovate health care delivery and achieve shared goals. Participation in the ACO has allowed MAHHC to implement strategies to better meet community needs ranging from prevention to complex care management. (2022)

Northern Michigan Community Health Innovation Region – This partnership of health and community providers across ten rural counties in Northern Michigan addresses social determinants of health through systems change and collaboration, including development of a Community Connections Hub Network, a clinical community linkages model that connects individuals and families to community resources. (2021)

Accountable Health Communities Model – Two Rural Participants' Experiences – Participants in CMMI’s Accountable Health Communities (AHC) Model identify and address health-related social needs of Medicare, Medicaid, and dual-eligible beneficiaries. This Rural Innovation Profile describes the successes and challenges of two AHCs serving rural populations. (2020)

Rural Health Network Thrives on Innovation in Whole-Person Care - Health Care Collaborative (HCC) of Rural Missouri, a rural health network comprised of more than 55 member organizations, wraps social service support around the patients who receive care at four HCC health care clinics. (2019)

Predictive Analytics Shape Care Processes - Community Care Partnership of Maine, a collaboration of nine federally qualified health centers and three community hospital systems, uses predictive analytics software to identify patients with the highest risk and plan interventions to support care management. (2018)

Community Reinvestment Program - Eastern Oregon Coordinated Care Organization, a 12-county collaboration in rural eastern Oregon, offers a community reinvestment grant program to achieve coordinated care organization metrics, and innovate to improve health within individual counties. (2018)

Behavioral Health Integration into Primary Care - Western Wisconsin Health, a rural health system, delivers behavioral health services as part of its comprehensive health and wellness approach in its Rural Health Clinic. (2018)

Affiliation Partners Sought to Prepare Small Hospital for Value-Based Care - Grinnell Regional Medical Center, a rural Iowa hospital, sought affiliation partners so it could prepare to participate in risk-based reimbursement models. (2018)

Medical-Legal Partnership Addresses Social Determinants of Health - FirstHealth of the Carolinas integrates a medical-legal partnership into the evidence-based Chronic Care Model used in its new transitional care clinics. (2017)

Global Budget Process as an Alternative Payment Model - McCready Health regularly monitors and adjusts fees to achieve budget goals within Maryland’s all-payer hospital rate-setting system. (2017)

Health Outside Hospital Walls - Chadron Community Hospital and Health Services, Chadron, Nebraska, offers healthy living options and fills health services gaps within the community-expanding care beyond the treatment and recovery of individuals to include a focus on overall population health. (2016)

Integrated Care in a Frontier Community - Southeast Health Group has developed a fully integrated care model to support patients in frontier communities in southeastern Colorado. Its care coordination focuses on wellness and addresses nonmedical obstacles to overall health. (2016)

Proactively Pursuing Value-Based Payment - Summit Pacific Medical Center, a CAH in Elma, Washington is proactively advancing value-based care and approaching payers for value-based payment contracts. (2016)

Rural Accountable Care Organization Care Coordination - Learn about care coordination at MaineHealth, a not-for-profit, integrated, healthcare delivery network ACO (MHACO). (2015)

Rural Health Networks and New Forms of Governance - Learn about a formal collaborative of independent rural and urban hospitals that serves patients across the continuum of care. The network's governance structure enables all members to have an equal voice at the table. (2015)

Investing in Population Health - A community health system, in consortium with state stakeholders, has established a Medicaid population health support system in rural and frontier areas that is viable and transferable across all patient populations. (2015)

Contemporary Efforts to Transform into High Performance Systems - Based on the results of roundtable discussions with rural and frontier innovators, this paper offers themes, strategies, and perspectives on overcoming challenges related to health care innovation in rural communities. (2015)

Proactive System Affiliation - Three small rural hospitals formed an alliance in order to establish a mutually beneficial affiliation with a large regional medical center while remaining locally owned and controlled. (2015)

Community Connectors to Improve Access - Increase access to home and community-based services by creating alternatives to institutionalized living and improving the quality of life for elderly and adults with physical disabilities while maintaining or decreasing costs. (2014)

A Rural Accountable Care Organization - Learn about the design and implementation of a rural-based and physician-led Advance Payment ACO in rural Nebraska. (2013)

For additional project examples, visit the Rural Health Information Hub Rural Health Models and Innovations page.