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Rural Health Information Hub

Rural Project Examples: Promising

A program evaluation of this approach showed positive results.

Atlantic General Hospital Patient Centered Medical Home
Updated/reviewed August 2022
  • Need: Ways to reduce hospital admission rates, emergency department visits, and total cost of care while better accommodating patients of the Atlantic General Hospital Corporation.
  • Intervention: The hospital system applied a patient centered medical home care model to their 7 rural outpatient clinics located throughout the Eastern Shore of Maryland and southern Delaware.
  • Results: From the program's care coordination, care transitions, and intervention efforts, AGH saw improvements in quality-of-care processes, service use, and spending.
Contingency Management Smoking Cessation in Appalachia
Updated/reviewed June 2022
  • Need: To reduce smoking rates of pregnant women and adolescents in Appalachian regions of Eastern Kentucky and Ohio.
  • Intervention: A web-based smoking cessation program that offered monetary incentives to reducing smoking.
  • Results: Participants significantly reduced smoking rates or quit altogether.
Reducing Hospitalizations in Medicare Beneficiaries
Updated/reviewed May 2022
  • Need: To reduce hospital readmissions for Medicare patients in rural Kentucky and Tennessee.
  • Intervention: Two quality improvement tools called IMPACT and INTERACT helped older patients transition from Vanderbilt University Medical Center to a skilled nursing facility.
  • Results: Practitioner follow-up visits increased, while emergency department visits decreased.
ALProHealth
Added March 2022
  • Need: To improve access to healthy food and physical activity in rural Alabama.
  • Intervention: Researchers hold focus groups with community members to identify issues of the most concern and then help them implement appropriate interventions like installing playground equipment.
  • Results: From 2014 to 2018, 14 coalitions implemented 101 interventions in 16 communities.
SASH® (Support and Services at Home)
Updated/reviewed March 2022
  • Need: In Vermont, the growing population of older adults, coupled with a lack of a decentralized, home-based system of care management, poses significant challenges for those who want to remain living independently at home.
  • Intervention: SASH® (Support and Services at Home), based in affordable-housing communities throughout the state, works with community partners to help older adults and people with disabilities receive the care they need so they can continue living safely at home.
  • Results: Compared to their non-SASH peers, SASH participants have been documented to have better health outcomes, including fewer falls, lower rates of hospitalizations, fewer emergency room visits, and lower Medicare and Medicaid expenditures.
Health Extension Regional Offices (HEROs)
Updated/reviewed November 2021
  • Need: People in rural New Mexico often found it difficult to find and utilize needed resources from the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center (UNMHSC).
  • Intervention: UNMHSC created Health Extension Regional Offices (HEROs), in which HERO agents live in the communities they serve, help identify health and social needs, and link them with UNMHSC and other university resources.
  • Results: In their regions, HERO agents' activities have been diverse, including recruiting physicians, mobilizing research funds to address local priorities, working on economic development, training laypeople in Mental Health First Aid, and helping local institutions access UNMHSC resources.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Nurse Navigator and Recovery Specialist Outreach Program
Updated/reviewed November 2021
  • Need: To properly address and treat patients who have concurrent substance use and chronic healthcare issues.
  • Intervention: A referral system utilizes community health workers (CHWs) in a drug and alcohol treatment setting. A registered nurse helps with providers' medication-assisted treatment programs.
  • Results: This program has reduced hospital emergency visits and hospital readmissions for patients since its inception.
Successfully Training and Educating Pre-medical Students (STEPS)
Updated/reviewed November 2021
  • Need: To increase the number of primary care providers in northeast Kentucky.
  • Intervention: STEPS provides support such as physician shadowing, mock interviews, and MCAT practice exams for regional students applying to medical school.
  • Results: 88% of participants have been accepted into medical school. The program has been replicated among most of Kentucky's regional AHECs.
Tomah Hearing Loss Prevention Outreach
Updated/reviewed November 2021
  • Need: Farmers are highly susceptible to permanent hearing loss due to prolonged exposure to loud machinery and livestock.
  • Intervention: Faculty and students from the audiology department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison supplied earplugs, free hearing testing, and hearing loss prevention education to attendees and participants at a local tractor pull.
  • Results: More than 16,000 pairs of earplugs have been distributed, and attendees have been receptive to the hearing loss prevention education provided by the audiology team.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Cross-Walk: Integrating Behavioral Health and Primary Care
Updated/reviewed October 2021
  • Need: To address and treat substance use disorder (SUD) and depression in the Upper Great Lakes region.
  • Intervention: Cross-Walk, a program that integrates behavioral healthcare into primary care services, was developed in Michigan's Marquette County.
  • Results: The collaborative efforts strengthened care management services in local healthcare facilities as primary care patients were referred to a behavioral health specialist.