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RHPTP e-Newsletter | April 2023

Monthly e-Newsletter | April 2023

This newsletter is supported by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) to share resources, educational events, and targeted technical assistance opportunities from the Rural Healthcare Provider Transition Project (RHPTP). The goal of RHPTP is to help strengthen the foundation in key elements of value-based care for qualified small rural hospitals and certified rural health clinics. 

Apply for One Year of Virtual and Onsite Technical Assistance 

Applications are now being accepted for the next cohort of the Rural Healthcare Transition Project (RHPTP).  ​​​​​​Small rural hospitals and certified rural health clinics selected to participate in RHPTP receive one year of focused technical assistance (TA) that's designed to strengthen their organization's understanding of the key elements of value-based care. Project focus areas include quality, efficiency, patient experience, and safety.  Five applicants are selected each year to receive RHPTP's virtual and on-site TA.  Additional details about the RHPTP application process, the scoring of the applicants, and the selection process can be found in the  2023 - 2024 Application Interview and Process Guide.  RHPTP is supported through a cooperative agreement with the Health Resources and Services Administration's Federal Office of Rural Health Policy and administered by the National Rural Health Resource Center
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RHPTP Participant Outcomes, 2020 - 2021

The Rural Healthcare Provider Transition Project (RHPTP) was launched in September 2020 to help position small rural hospitals (SRH) and certified rural health clinics (RHCs) to be effective in a health system focused on value.  The first cohort included four participants: 
  • County of Lawrence Health Department, RHC, Lawrenceville, IL
  • Guadalupe County Hospital, SRH, Santa Rosa, NM
  • Lincoln County Medical Center, SRH, Ruidoso, NM
  • Sudan Medical Clinic, RHC, Sudan, TX
RHPTP staff stay in contact with participants for a full year following the completion of technical assistance in order to capture success, outcomes, and next steps.  ​​​​​​Accomplishments
  • Expanded telehealth services
  • Capitalized on coding
  • Improved care coordination
  • Improved patient satisfaction
  • Adopted new EHRs and expanded existing EHRs
  • Improved patient discharge processes 
  • Focused population health planning
  • Established school clinics with telehealth kiosks
  • Increased staff celebrations
  • Increased mental health celebrations
  • Developed stronger collaborations with community partners
  • Participate in 340B Drug Program
  • Created robust resource list to address social drivers of health
  • Gained certification to provide swing beds
Measurable Outcomes
  • The Population Health Readiness Assessment reflects status of transition to value-based care in areas of operating efficiencies, quality and engagement, primary care networks, health system alignment, specialists, facilities, care management, informatics/analytics, patient centered medical homes, employee health plans, transitional payment models, physician leadership, governance, and change management. Scores range from 1 (initial steps) to 4 (full transition). These scores increased from pre-project average of 2.25 to post-project 3.0, a 33% increase. 
  • The Quality Assessment reflects cohort scores in organizational culture, processes and systems, organizational alignment, and an overall score. Scores range from 1 (not started) to 5 (fully implemented). These scores increased from a pre-project average of 2.3 to post-project 3.95, a 72% increase. 
  • Average Increase in Days Cash on Hand: 
    • Hospitals had an average increase of 8.5%
    • Clinics had an average decrease of  - 28% (pandemic-related and purchase of new building)
  • Average Increase in Operating Margin: 8.2%
Read more about  RHPTP success stories!
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Organizational Leadership in Value

June 21, 2023 | 2:00 PM Central Time Speaker: Jennifer Lundblad, Stratis Health This session will offer strategies and tactics for influencing and leading toward value-based care (VBC) in a rural health care organization and community as well as explore risks and unintended consequences important for you to understand when leading in a VBC and payment environment.  Community Care Coordination: How to Effectively Identify, Engage, and Sustain Community Partners July 19, 2023 | 2:00 PM Central Time Speaker: Debra Laine, The Center This webinar will introduce tools for identifying partners and creating allies within your community by recognizing all of the social drivers of health being experienced. This webinar will ground you in community care coordination and its role in population health, provide best practices, and teach you how to engage and sustain these partnerships. Applying these principles will strengthen the capacity of your health care delivery system to create buy-in, establish accountability, and better manage the health of your population.  To view previous HELP webinar playbacks, visit our website
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Making the ACO Decision: How to Select an ACO  The decision to engage in the accountable care organization (ACO) movement is a significant one. It's a decision that involves not only making the choice to join and embrace the ACO model, but also selecting an ACO to participate in. This webinar playback, part of the RHPTP's Health Education and Learning Program (HELP) webinar series, explores the question of how to select an ACO that is right for your organization. Behavioral Health Campaign The National Rural Health Resource Center has launched a Behavioral Health Toolkit. This customizable toolkit contains messaging focused on stopping mental health stigma and highlights the 9‐8‐8 national hotline. The toolkit is designed to inform and remind communities about the 9‐8‐8 hotline, where they can be expert, caring, and confidential help. "Stop the Stigma. Start the Conversation." is a phrase utilized throughout the campaign to emphasize the importance of destigmatizing mental health in rural communities. The elements of the toolkit can be customized to promote conversations about mental health and stress so that community members and patients are not alone. This toolkit was developed through the Delta Region Community Health System Development program.

Contact the RHPTP Team with questions:

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Rhonda Barcus, MS, LPC Program Manager

Disclaimer: This project is supported by the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U5ERH39345 as part of a financial assistance award totaling $800,000 (0% financed with nongovernmental sources.) The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA/HHS, or the U.S. Government.

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Making the ACO Decision: How to Select an ACO

Register for the HELP webinar series to receive eight CEUs. This session will explore the question of how to select an ACO that is right for an organization.