Skip to main content
Rural Health Information Hub

Rural Hospitals – Models and Innovations

These stories feature model programs and successful rural projects that can serve as a source of ideas and provide lessons others have learned. Some of the projects or programs may no longer be active. Read about the criteria and evidence-base for programs included.

Effective Examples

Franklin Cardiovascular Health Program (FCHP)

Updated/reviewed February 2024

  • Need: To develop sustainable, community-wide prevention methods for cardiovascular diseases in order to change behaviors and healthcare outcomes in rural Maine.
  • Intervention: Local community groups and Franklin Memorial Hospital staff studied mortality and hospitalization rates for 40 years in this rural, low-income area of Farmington to seek intervention methods that could address cardiovascular diseases.
  • Results: A decline in cardiovascular-related mortality rates and improved prevention methods for hypertension, high cholesterol, and smoking.

Other Project Examples

Montana Interfacility Blood Network (MT IBN)

Added July 2024

  • Need: To provide blood transfusions in the ambulance on the way to a hospital.
  • Intervention: The Montana Interfacility Blood Network includes 48 healthcare facilities that stock blood and allow ambulances to pick up units of blood while transporting a patient.
  • Results: Since its launch, the network has helped at least three patients.

Community Care Partnership of Maine Accountable Care Organization

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

Updated/reviewed April 2024

  • Need: To increase access and quality of care for 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 120,000 patients in Maine. In addition, it has implemented shared savings arrangements/contracts with different Medicare Advantage and other private health payers.

Healthy Southern Illinois Delta Network

Updated/reviewed November 2023

  • Need: To improve people's health in a rural 16-county region in Illinois.
  • Intervention: A coalition of local health departments and healthcare facilities coordinates regional efforts, which are implemented locally by health community coalitions.
  • Results: HSIDN has created toolkits, developed resource guides, and provided wellness trainings, among other initiatives.

Utah Rural Independent Hospital Network (Rural 9 Network)

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

Updated/reviewed April 2023

  • 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.

The Hospital Cooperative Charge Comparative

Updated/reviewed September 2022

  • Need: To help hospitals in rural Idaho and Wyoming see how their prices compare to others in the region.
  • Intervention: The Hospital Cooperative (THC) completes an annual charge comparative, which lists the highest, lowest, average, and median price for a specific charge.
  • Results: THC has offered these reports since 2010.

The Hospital Cooperative Mobile MRI

Updated/reviewed September 2022

  • Need: Critical Access Hospitals in Idaho were not able to afford a fixed MRI system.
  • Intervention: The hospitals partnered to purchase a mobile MRI unit to travel among facilities.
  • Results: The MRI unit went into service in 2012, providing hundreds of scans per month and traveling among six member hospitals in rural Idaho.

University of Mississippi Medical Center's Center for Telehealth

funded by the Health Resources Services Administration

Updated/reviewed January 2020

  • Need: Rural areas in Mississippi often lack adequate access to specialty healthcare services such as emergency medicine, stroke neurology, pediatric specialists and psychiatrists.
  • Intervention: The University of Mississippi Medical Center created the Center for Telehealth to deliver quality specialty services through telehealth video conferencing and remote monitoring tools to the underserved areas of Mississippi.
  • Results: The program has been successfully implemented throughout many of the state's rural hospitals and has reduced transfers and geographic barriers for patients.

Last Updated: 7/3/2024