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Louisiana State Office of Rural Health: Supporting RHPTP Participant Byrd Regional Hospital in their Journey to Value-Based Care

During a Health Care Organization’s (HCO’s) time participating in the Rural Healthcare Provider Transition Project (RHPTP), small rural hospitals and rural health clinics focus on financial, operational, and quality goals, as they prepare for a successful transition to value-based care (VBC). RHPTP is a project funded by the Health Resources & Services Administration’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Effectively transitioning to a VBC payment system can be a challenge for many HCOs, therefore, State Offices of Rural Health (SORH) can be particularly vital partners in helping connect clinics and hospitals with additional tools, resources, and a valuable local perspective.

Recently, Kandi Smith, Rural Health Program Manager, and Eric Johnson, Rural Health Development Manager, both from Well-Ahead Louisiana State Office of Rural Health (SORH), exercised this partnership. Kandi and Eric virtually attended a RHPTP final report and action planning meeting with current cohort participant, Byrd Regional Hospital (BRH), a prospective payment system (PPS) hospital located in Leesville, Louisiana. With their goal of supporting rural communities such as BRH, this SORH states:  

The Well-Ahead Louisiana State Office of Rural Health (SORH) integrates population health strategies within rural communities, supports the development and sustainability of rural care facilities, and advances access to care through innovation. Well-Ahead provides support to address rural communities’ unique healthcare needs.

Well-Ahead LA, Supporting Rural Communities in Louisiana

During the final report and action planning meeting led by Stroudwater Associates, the financial/operational technical assistance (TA) consultants for RHPTP, Kandi and Eric watched and learned as Stroudwater shared their financial and operational findings and recommendations with BRH. Additionally, they observed BRH and Stroudwater Associates create a workplan to structure next steps in transitioning to a VBC environment. Kandi and Eric found the discussion around BRH’s community engagement and social drivers of health activities especially motivating, as Well-Ahead Louisiana SORH recently adopted community engagement as an area of focus as well. The importance of their partnership became all the more clear as they recognized the many ways RHPTP’s purpose and goals align with those of the Louisiana SORH. 

Similarly, BRH has been grateful for the Louisiana SORH’s input and perspective. Following the meeting, Eric met with the hospital’s communications and community engagement team member to discuss their ongoing RHPTP activities, specifically regarding how increased community engagement can optimize patient recruitment. Together they were able to brainstorm potential projects and community partners needed to meet their goals – including community awareness of BRH’s services, increasing their Medicare population’s annual wellness visits, and partnering with schools to provide direct services. Upon conclusion of the meeting, Kandi and Eric felt better informed and prepared to promote RHPTP to the rural HCOs in Louisiana, having observed the important work a hospital in their home state is doing to transition to VBC. Kandi and Eric noted that the RHPTP TA provided to participating HCOs is an invaluable resource, and that all RHPTP eligible organizations should apply for this no-cost opportunity.

Well-Ahead Louisiana SORH has worked closely with BRH outside of RHPTP activities, supporting the hospital in its participation in the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy’s Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP). Kandi and Eric shared that it was easy to see BRH’s steadfast engagement and desire for growth from the moment they began working together and are confident the HCO will be successful in their efforts as they shift to a health care system focused on value. 

The National Rural Health Resource Center, the Rural Healthcare Provider Transition Project’s cooperative agreement awardee, knows that effective partnerships make for creative approaches to improved access, quality, and patient outcomes, to name a few. We encourage all rural HCOs to develop and maintain organizational and community partnerships among local health departments, community health centers, state hospital and rural health clinic associations, schools, nonprofit organizations, state offices of rural health, and others to help support and meet the needs of rural communities.   


RHPTP HELP Webinar: Delivering Post-Acute Care Services in a Value-Based Care Environment - Trends and Implications

Health care is rapidly evolving as the industry creeps closer to a system focused on value and outcomes, with many of these changes influencing post-acute care. This webinar will briefly review the current predominate levels and settings of Post-Acute Care (PAC), and the impact of Value-Based Care/Reimbursement models on PAC services delivery.