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Rural Project Examples: Healthcare networks

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Utah Rural Independent Hospital Network
Updated/reviewed March 2018
  • Need: To help ensure the viability of and improve quality at 9 rural, independent hospitals serving 11 Utah counties.
  • Intervention: A network organization was created to allow member hospitals to communicate, network, and undertake projects together.
  • Results: Members take advantage of cost savings, education, and networking opportunities through group projects and programs.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy “It’s a HIT!” Rural Health IT Workforce Training Program
Updated/reviewed January 2018
  • Need: To provide rural health workers with advanced health information technology (HIT) training and skills.
  • Intervention: A program for health network members to increase HIT knowledge and prepare for Certified Healthcare Technology Specialist (CHTS) certification.
  • Results: Participants learned how to adopt HIT within their own clinics, and 80% of students received certification as an HIT Clinic Workflow Redesign Specialist.
Western Healthcare Alliance Laboratory Services Network
Updated/reviewed December 2017
  • Need: Increased efficiency for medical laboratory testing in rural western Colorado and Utah hospitals.
  • Intervention: Creation of a network for education, operational consulting, best practice development, and group contracting with discounted services for hospital laboratories.
  • Results: Lower laboratory testing costs with improved quality, efficiency, and turnaround times leading to increased healthcare quality.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy The Community Care Alliance
Updated/reviewed November 2017
  • Need: Rural healthcare networks in Colorado and Washington felt the urgency to help their communities improve population health with better care at lower cost.
  • Intervention: The Community Care Alliance was formed to specifically serve Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), employer groups, and other patient populations. Benefits for participants include quality improvement and practice transformation activities, comprehensive care coordination, outcomes measurement with quality reporting and data extraction, and analytics.
  • Results: A total of 43 organizational members have received educational, networking, and technical assistance by being a part of the Alliance. Over 22,000 Medicare beneficiaries have been introduced to care coordination, leading to a decrease in emergency room visits, an increase in overall health, and lower medical costs.
Credentialing Verification Service through Partners in Health Network
Updated/reviewed August 2017
  • Need: Streamlined credentialing process for providers working in central and southern West Virginia’s multiple rural healthcare facilities.
  • Intervention: Creation of a shared, specialized network using a standardized approach to credentialing healthcare providers.
  • Results: A streamlined, centralized approach to the multi-step credentialing process eliminated duplicative services and increased credentialing efficiencies for staff.
ICAHN External Peer Review Network
Updated/reviewed August 2017
  • Need: Critical access hospitals (CAHs) in rural Illinois required an external mechanism for peer review.
  • Intervention: Using physicians from network member hospitals, a CAH network implemented a peer review process.
  • Results: Staff peer reviews also improved healthcare quality within the CAH network.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Indiana Statewide Rural Health Network (InSRHN)
Updated/reviewed July 2017
  • Need: To improve sustainability and financial viability for rural healthcare providers throughout Indiana.
  • Intervention: A network of rural healthcare providers for Critical Access and other hospitals in Indiana who are dedicated to improving their ability to deliver efficient and high-quality healthcare for their rural residents.
  • Results: The network has been leveraged to increase access to resources, coordinate services, and improve and expand healthcare access.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Prince of Wales Health Network
Updated/reviewed July 2017
  • Need: To increase collaboration between healthcare facilities and other organizations on a rural Alaska island in order to provide better access to and quality of healthcare.
  • Intervention: A health network focused on collaboration in order to best meet healthcare needs of island residents.
  • Results: Increased collaboration and cooperation among healthcare facilities and other organizations, leading to enhanced healthcare services for island residents while eliminating unneeded duplication of services and filling in service gaps.
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.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Upper Peninsula Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee
Updated/reviewed July 2017
  • Need: Healthcare entities in the Upper Peninsula region of Michigan were using different formularies, missing opportunities for group purchasing power and consistent care.
  • Intervention: The Upper Peninsula Health Plan and the Upper Peninsula Health Care Network developed a regional partnership for managing prescription costs and quality pharmaceuticals in rural, upper Michigan.
  • Results: More informed pharmaceutical decisions and lowered pharmaceutical costs for Upper Peninsula Health Plan member organizations.