State Flex Profile Navigation

Michigan Center for Rural Health

Top Flex Activities

Program Area: Support for Quality Improvement

  • Support the Michigan Critical Access Hospital (MICAH) Quality Network (QN) activities
  • Support member quarterly meetings, strategy groups, provide follow-up activities and support a listserv
  • Support data benchmarking of MICAH QN core measures
  • Support the Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project (MBQIP)
  • Incorporate MBQIP metrics into the Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) Pay-for-Performance Program

Please share a success story about reporting quality data or using quality data to help CAHs in your state improve patient care.

The MICAH QN continues to be a success. The group has consistently worked together to improve on a variety of measures. Currently, they have a workgroup analyzing the emergency department transfer communication (EDTC) metrics, healthcare-associated infections (HAI) metrics and Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS).

Program Area: Support for Financial and Operational Improvement

  • Continue recruitment of all CAHs to participate in the Financial Benchmark Group (currently, 16 of 36 CAHs are participating)
  • Support bi-yearly meetings
  • Encourage Chief Financial Officer (CFO) efforts to submit financial benchmarks into a benchmarking tool facilitated by Eide Bailly
  • Support hospital board of director training
  • Support hospital service line analysis
  • Support inpatient and outpatient Lean analysis

Program Area: Support for Population Health Management and Emergency Medical Services Integration

  • Support population health management needs assessments based on community health needs assessments (CHNA)
  • Support community-level rural emergency medical services (EMS) system assessment by conducting a Michigan Rural Systems Assessment Report
  • Sponsor EMS Leadership Academy Workshops, levels I-IV

Please provide information about Collaboration/Shared Services

The Michigan Center for Rural Health (MCRH) facilitated community meetings with two CAHs and a rural tertiary partner surrounding mental health services. As part of these meetings, the three organizations are now sharing psychiatry resources.

Program Area: Support for Integration of Innovative Health Care Models

Michigan provides support for the Rural Health Clinic Quality Network.

Please provide information about any efforts to assist CAHs/communities and partner organizations in the transition to value-based care.

The Michigan State Office of Rural Health (SORH) continues to provide education on value-based purchasing programs, current and future models. MCRH is the state-based executive director for two Michigan rural accountable care organizations (ACOs) and a clinically integrated network. MCRH was able to share learnings from this project with CAHs not involved. In addition, MCRH subcontracts with the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPI) awardee for Michigan to provide value-based education to rural providers, including CAHs.

Please describe how your state Flex Program has enhanced its use of data in the past year.

MCRH has taken a more proactive approach to analyzing data through the MICAH QN. It is now a much more integral part of each quarterly meeting, and the network has a dedicated strategy group surrounding data.

In addition, the CFOs are monitoring data using the Microsoft Business Intelligence tool. 

Do you have any hospitals interested in converting to CAH status?


Program Statistics

Type of Organization Non-profit Organization
Staffing 3.5 FTEs
Number of CAHs 36
Website URL Organization Website

Flex Program Staff

John Barnas
State Office Director, Michigan
(517) 432-9216
Crystal Barter
Flex Coordinator, Michigan
(517) 432-0006
Emma Smythe
Rural Health Programs Coordinator, Michigan
(517) 355-7757
Sara Wright
Community Programs Assistant, Michigan
(517) 353-3990
Jeff Nagy
Quality Improvement Advisor, Michigan
(517) 884-8641

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.