Topics: Medicare

Rural Health Clinic Program at 45 Years: Created for Access and Still Delivering Care

front entrance of a Rural Health Clinic


After a 1965 public law created the Medicare and Medicaid programs, many rural residents insured by these government health programs were unable to access care. This challenge was remedied by another public law: the Rural Health Clinic Services Act of 1977. Using a historical framework, rural health policy experts, researchers, and clinicians reviewed the Act’s impact on outpatient healthcare delivery in rural America.

Read More

October 26, 2022

A Career of Influencing Rural Healthcare Delivery: Bill Finerfrock and the NARHC Origin Story

Bill Finerfrock.


Over 5,200 rural organizations participate in the Rural Health Clinics program, a reimbursement model dedicated to rural low-volume healthcare delivery and now in its 45th year. The National Association of Rural Health Clinics — in its 30th year — is a membership organization that emerged as the program increased its participants. Bill Finerfrock, association cofounder and its recently retired executive director, shared the group’s origin story as well as touchpoints from his own career.

Read More

October 26, 2022

Understanding the Rural Swing Bed: More than Just a Reimbursement Policy

patient getting blood pressure checked


“Swing bed” is that oft-heard phrase describing not a physical hospital bed, but post-acute care for the rural patient who is well enough to leave the acute care hospital but not well enough to be safe at home. In this 2-part story, experts and hospital administrators review the swing bed program’s historical implementation and provide stories and examples of the value this over 40-year-old healthcare delivery and reimbursement model brings to patients, to the hospitals providing their care, and ultimately to rural communities.

Read More

August 11, 2021

History of the Swing Bed: A Look Through the Rural Rearview Mirror


The healthcare delivery model known as the swing bed program has allowed rural and Critical Access Hospitals to serve patients by keeping them in their rural communities for post-acute care. Reviewing the history of this program, experts describe early implementation and key program elements that have sustained its success for over 40 years.

Read More

August 11, 2021

Rural Libraries Help Communities Access Health Information

Marilynn Lance-Robb by Carvers Bay Branch Library sign


Libraries in South Carolina, Vermont, and Washington work to improve their communities’ health by providing monthly programs and teaching patrons and staff how to access reliable health information online.

Read More

March 11, 2020

Using Telehealth to Put Patients at the Center of Healthcare

Mario Gutierrez


Mario Gutierrez, MPH, Executive Director of the Center for Connected Health Policy’s National Telehealth Policy Resource Center, discusses the important role telehealth plays for rural patients in delivering healthcare directly to their homes and communities.

Read More

July 26, 2017

Freestanding Emergency Departments: An Alternative Model for Rural Communities

OSF Center for Health - Streator campus


First conceptualized in the 1970s, but not widely adopted in rural communities, freestanding emergency departments (FSEDs) have been getting another look as a sustainable rural option. This article discusses hospital-based versus independent FSEDs, the model’s financial viability, and highlights two FSEDs meeting their communities’ healthcare needs in Arizona and Illinois.

Read More

November 30, 2016