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Rural Health Information Hub

Rural Project Examples: Primary care

Effective Examples

Kitsap Mental Health Services: Race to Health!
Updated/reviewed August 2020
  • Need: To improve the physical health of individuals seeking mental healthcare.
  • Intervention: Race to Health! in Washington integrated mental health, substance use disorder treatment, and primary care for individuals with severe mental illness.
  • Results: Race to Health! helped reduce emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and costs (a total savings of $5,144,000 for Medicare patients).

Promising Examples

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.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy The Health Wagon
Updated/reviewed January 2021
  • Need: Healthcare access in Central Appalachia for the medically underserved challenged by social and economic determinants of health, including transportation barriers, food insecurity, poverty, and lack of health insurance.
  • Intervention: Three mobile clinics and 2 stationary clinics provide free health care for people in 16 counties in Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
  • Results: By leveraging technology and meeting patients where they are, Health Wagon provided comprehensive healthcare services — including specialty care — to 5,500 patients during 16,000 visit encounters in 2020.

Other Project Examples

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Community Care Partnership of Maine Accountable Care Organization
Updated/reviewed March 2022
  • Need: To increase access and quality of care for Medicare, Medicaid, uninsured, and commercial patients in rural Maine.
  • Intervention: Community hospitals and Federally Qualified Health Centers in Maine formed the Community Care Partnership of Maine Accountable Care Organization (CCPM ACO).
  • Results: CCPM serves about 100,000 patients in Maine. In addition, it implemented ACO shared savings plans with Maine Medicaid, Medicare, and five commercial health insurance and Medicare Advantage plans in the state.
Hawai'i Island Family Medicine Residency
Updated/reviewed December 2021
  • Need: Hawai'i is experiencing a huge shortage of family medicine physicians.
  • Intervention: The Hawai'i Island Family Medicine Residency (HIFMR) program uses an interprofessional team-based approach so residents learn how to care for many types of patients in different healthcare settings.
  • Results: Since 2017, HIFMR has graduated a class of 3 to 6 Board-certified family medicine physicians annually. Most graduates have remained in the state to practice medicine; those who have left have entered fellowship programs and plan to return to Hawai'i Island to practice.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Catalina Island Telemedicine Center
Updated/reviewed August 2020
  • Need: To access specialty medical services, residents of Santa Catalina Island have to travel 20 miles by boat to southern California. A telemedicine service was needed to connect island residents to the mainland's specialty services.
  • Intervention: The Catalina Island Medical Center created a telemedicine center to give residents quick access to specialty medical care, including diabetic consultations and pain management.
  • Results: An analysis of the telemedicine program found that patients had measurable improvements, and that 90% of patients were pleased with the program and will continue to use it.
funded by the Health Resources Services Administration Health-e-Schools
Updated/reviewed October 2019
  • Need: Rural school children lack proper healthcare resources within the school setting.
  • Intervention: Health-e-Schools provides health services to students via telehealth using video conferencing and special equipment.
  • Results: Health-e-Schools increases access to primary healthcare, increases attendance in the classroom, and decreases the amount of time that parents or guardians must take off of work to bring their child to health-related appointments.
HealthTran
Updated/reviewed February 2018
  • Need: To provide transportation to patients in South Central Missouri who otherwise have non-existent, limited, or expensive transportation options to and from healthcare appointments.
  • Intervention: A non-emergency transportation service that offers rides for patients demonstrating a transportation need for timely primary and preventive care access.
  • Results: HealthTran has helped to improve healthcare access and long-term health outcomes, as well as reduced preventable hospitalizations and unnecessary emergency department visits.
LIFECORE Health Group's Integrated Care Delivery Model
Updated/reviewed January 2018
  • Need: A model that integrates primary care and mental health for rural residents in northeast Mississippi.
  • Intervention: LIFECORE Health Group created an integrated care delivery model that meets the mental health and primary care needs of children and adolescents who suffer from severe emotional disturbances and adults who suffer from chronic behavioral health disorders or chemical dependency.
  • Results: LIFECORE's integrated model has become a sustainable approach to health, reducing the amount of hospital stays and increasing patient compliance, utilization of LIFECORE services, health outcomes of patients with chronic diseases, and facility revenue.