RHI Receives Contract to Provide Onsite Technical Assistance Through the Small Rural Hospital Transition Project

October 2014
Rural Health Innovations (RHI)

Rural Health Innovations (RHI), established in 2005 as a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Rural Health Resource Center, was awarded the Small Rural Hospital Transition (SRHT) Project by The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP). The SRHT Project is designed to support small rural hospitals nationally by providing onsite technical assistance (TA) to assist hospitals in bridging the gaps between the current health care system and the newly emerging system of health care delivery and payment. Specifically TA will focus in the following areas:

  • improving key financial ratios and profitability
  • activities to improve patient care and operations related to rural relevant measures
  • address and meet local clinical need in an economically viable manner
  • for those hospitals that are financially stable and core quality areas strengthened, technical assistance could provide assistance in considering factors that would help them identify next steps in participating in health care systems that focus on value (for example ACOs, shared savings programs, primary care medical homes).

Eligible hospitals must be located in a rural (non-metro) persistent poverty county or a rural census tract of a metro persistent poverty county as defined by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy and have 49 staffed beds or less as reported on the hospital's most recently filed Medicare Cost Report. Small rural hospitals including those that participate in Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP), Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) Program, Rural Health Network Development Program and the Small Health Care Provider Quality Improvement Program that meet eligibility criteria are encouraged to apply. More information on eligibility, application process, and participation requirements will be forthcoming.

The new Small Rural Hospital Transition Project builds on 13 years of outstanding work by the National Rural Health Resource Center, working with 123 rural hospitals in the Mississippi Delta region. During the last two program years we were able to document an $11: $1 and $7: $1 rate of return on federal investment in technical assistance to these rural hospitals and communities.