2020 Rural Behavioral Health Care Coordination Summit Findings

September 2020
Author: 
National Rural Health Resource Center (The Center)

With the support of the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP), the National Rural Health Resource Center (The Center) hosted the 2020 Rural Behavioral Health Care Coordination Summit. Summit panelists included 10 nationally recognized leaders in rural health policy, practice, and payment to identify a path for rural healthcare leaders to operationalize the movement to population health management, specifically regarding behavioral health (BH). Panelists also explored effective care coordination and transitions of care strategies that maximize the use of available resources and new technology. This summit built upon the findings of the 2019 Rural Care Coordination and Population Health Management Summit.

The summit focused on the rural hospital’s role in addressing behavioral health as part of a collaborative, community-wide initiative and identified strengths, barriers, and actionable next steps for implementing and improving care coordination. 

The report offers tips on how to maximize available resources and new technology to improve efficiency in care management and transitions of care. It identifies some of the greatest barriers to care coordination—stigma and lack of access to providers—and focuses on four areas of opportunity for addressing them.

  1. Workforce development and innovation
  2. Technology and telehealth
  3. Coordination and integration among providers and health care organizations
  4. Community cooperation and coordination

The report also includes resources in each area of opportunity. This report should serve as one of many tools for rural hospitals and communities in expanding and understanding BH care coordination.