Understanding Systems of Care

Pressures are being felt in rural areas as the population ages, budgets tighten and the need to bend the health care cost curve increases. Given the goals and role of the Flex Program, it is imperative that state Flex Programs understand the health care system as a whole to participate in discussions and planning and to serve as a rural “voice” to ensure rural community needs are considered, represented and understood. State Flex Program proficiency in the following contribute to excellence in understanding systems of care:

  • Maintaining an overall knowledge of the rural health landscape
  • Understanding the interconnection of hospitals, clinics and long-term care
  • Integrating emergency medical services
  • Incorporating behavioral and mental health services
  • Collaborating with public health

This project is/was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UB1RH24206, Information Services to Rural Hospital Flexibility Program Grantees, $1,100,000 (0% financed with nongovernmental sources). This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.