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Rural Project Examples from American Hospital Association

Piedmont Mountainside Hospital's Freestanding Emergency Department
Added December 2017
  • Need: The North Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) of Ellijay, Georgia had been losing money and patients. Many residents living in Ellijay were seeking hospital care elsewhere, leaving NGMC treating an average of only 6 patients in the year prior to closing their doors in 2016.
  • Intervention: With approval from the state, Piedmont Mountainside Hospital (PMH) leased the space from NGMC and opened the state's first freestanding emergency department. Medical services were again made available for patients in Ellijay and surrounding areas.
  • Results: Within the first 6 months of operation, over 5,000 emergency visits were made to the freestanding ED, an average of 30 patients per day.
Super-Utilizer Pilot Project
Added November 2017
  • Need: To address patients' complex physical, behavioral, and social health needs in order to reduce unnecessary visits to the emergency department or inpatient admissions.
  • Intervention: A pilot project in rural Montana provides intensive outpatient care management to high-need and high-cost patients.
  • Results: With the program's first 27 patients, the healthcare team in Kalispell has saved more than $1.6 million in hospital costs.
Illinois Rural Community Care Organization
Updated/reviewed August 2017
  • Need: To improve value-based care and organize the efforts of rural Illinois' independent providers with a shared vision of population health management.
  • Intervention: A Medicare Shared Savings Program Accountable Care Organization (MSSP ACO) was established that participates in federal and state repayment programs.
  • Results: The newly formed ACO is one of the first statewide ACOs to establish local care coordination programs that encompass hospital, clinic and practice settings.
Stratus Healthcare Network
Updated/reviewed July 2017
  • Need: Rural Georgia hospitals experiencing the crush of expenses in addition to limited investment capital for resources.
  • Intervention: Hospitals, health care systems, and physicians came together to create an alliance of healthcare providers that focused on value-based healthcare delivery, rather than fee-for-service care, with the goal of developing a clinically integrated network.
  • Results: Now sharing resources and best practices, Stratus Network members are working to reduce excessive or duplicate services, reduce costs of services, and show performance improvements.
Granville Health System's Transitional Care Program
Added April 2017
  • Need: To reduce hospital admissions and improve health for North Carolina patients.
  • Intervention: Granville Health System's Transitional Care Program helps hospital and ED patients schedule follow-up appointments. In addition, the program provides home visits and safety checks.
  • Results: From 2015 to 2016, the number of patients receiving home visits increased from 30 to 86. In addition, 2016 saw a $73,595 reduction in inpatient readmissions and an $11,500 reduction in self-pay readmissions of patients with high-risk diagnoses.
Minot-Williston Rural Training Track Program
Updated/reviewed March 2017
  • Need: Like many rural areas, parts of North Dakota lack primary care physicians to fulfill the needs of the community.
  • Intervention: The Minot-Williston Rural Track Program was developed to create new medical residency opportunities in rural North Dakota.
  • Results: Over 800 applicants applied for the two residency slots offered.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Community Care Partnership of Maine Accountable Care Organization
Added February 2017
  • Need: To increase access and quality of care for Medicare, Medicaid, uninsured, and commercial patients in rural Maine.
  • Intervention: 3 hospitals and 8 Federally Qualified Health Centers in Maine formed the Community Care Partnership of Maine Accountable Care Organization (CCPM ACO).
  • Results: CCPM serves about 70,000 patients in Maine. In addition, it implemented ACO shared savings plans with Maine Medicaid, Medicare, and five commercial health insurance payers in Maine.
Project COPE (Cancer Outreach Prevention Education)
Updated/reviewed January 2017
  • Need: Comprehensive breast care services are unavailable in many rural regions of Kentucky, and many of the women in these areas lack financial means for adequate breast care.
  • Intervention: Project COPE was initiated to provide women with support at any and every stage of breast cancer treatment.
  • Results: Women in the service area no longer have to travel to urban areas for customary breast care services and now have numerous avenues of support when going through breast cancer treatment.