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ACA Online Training Module for Rural Healthcare Providers

  • Need: To strengthen the healthcare system in rural northern New England by helping local community and Critical Access Hospital providers assist their patients in learning about health insurance options under the Affordable Care Act.
  • Intervention: An online training module to help providers learn about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and find local ACA enrollment resources.
  • Results: 14 providers in 4 counties registered for the training.

The Dartmouth-Hitchcock Center for Telehealth built an online “Introduction to Accountable and Affordable Care” training module for rural emergency departments. This module was designed for the Center for Rural Emergency Services and Trauma (CREST) as part of a larger educational offering. CREST is a Dartmouth-Hitchcock based collaborative network of 16 Critical Access Hospitals and community hospitals committed to improving the emergency care of patients in rural New England through education, outreach, and quality improvement.

The ACA training module enables rural providers to better assist patients by providing them with easy access to ACA information about outreach and enrollment. The goal of this module is to give providers the tools they need to direct patients to certified ACA enrollment counselors or resource centers in their local areas.

A screenshot of ACA online educational module is below:

screenshot of the CREST ACA online educational module

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center is a Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Rural Health Care Outreach grantee and received supplemental funding from FORHP for ACA outreach and enrollment.

Services offered

The highly interactive educational module combines:

  • Asynchronous videos
  • Literature
  • Reference materials

Continuing medical education credit is available to those who complete the module.


The educational program was released in March 2014. Since then, 14 providers have registered for the program, representing 4 counties throughout New Hampshire and Vermont.

While the project successfully developed materials during the short 6-month timeframe, promotional efforts did not garner as much participation as originally hoped. In the coming months, this resource will be integrated with the broader CREST Virtual Library online platform to ensure dissemination of this information.

The training will continue to be of great value in future open enrollment periods.

Contact Information
Sarah N. Pletcher, MD, MA, Medical Director
Center for Telehealth, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
Benefit enrollment and application
Critical Access Hospitals
Health insurance
Health workforce education and training
States served
New Hampshire, Vermont
Date added
August 21, 2014

Please contact the models and innovations contact directly for the most complete and current information about this program. Summaries of models and innovations are provided by RHIhub for your convenience. The programs described are not endorsed by RHIhub or by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Each rural community should consider whether a particular project or approach is a good match for their community’s needs and capacity. While it is sometimes possible to adapt program components to match your resources, keep in mind that changes to the program design may impact results.