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Mississippi State Department of Health

Top Flex Activities

CAH Quality Improvement

The Mississippi Flex Program’s activity focuses on improving core patient safety and inpatient measures reports and increasing the number of CAHs that report on all four MBQIP domains. The vendor provides TA to aid the CAHs with developing antibiotic stewardship programs. The Mississippi State Office of Rural Health has a subgrant with a consulting group to provide TA on MBQIP to all 31 CAHs. This TA includes hospital site visits if required and hospital staff education on MBQIP measures and reporting requirements. MBQIP TA is measured by the number of CAHs participating in the activity and improvements in outcomes.

CAH Operational and Financial Improvement

MS SORH has engaged subgrantees to provide financial improvement assistance through revenue cycle activities. The activities will be measured by the number of CAHs participating, and improvements in days in net accounts receivable.

Through a cascaded Statewide Financial and Operational Assessment of rural hospital financial and operational performance across 22 financial ratios as well as an analysis of market performance and cost and charge position, the Flex program may monitor the relative performance of each of the CAHs compared to each other as well as all CAHs across the nation.  This annual assessment (now in its 6th year) allows for the trending of performance across all 31 CAHs.  These data provide a basis/justification of the need for technical assistance and are foundational for the competitive grant cycle.

For operational improvement, MS has a SORH subgrant with a consulting group to perform an outmigration analysis. This activity is measured over the long term by increased market share.

CAH Population Health Improvement 

The Mississippi Flex Program engages a subgrantee to provide Lifestyle Coaching Training to 5 CAHs to receive certificates for the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) Lifestyle Coach. The subgrantee also provides community Health Needs Assessment Training and emergency medical training. CAHs are supported in identifying community and resource needs prior to the provision of technical assistance which CAHs complete the Population Health Readiness Assessment.

Innovative Model Development 

The Mississippi Flex Program provides financial and educational support in the formation of an Accountable Care Organization for Mississippi CAHs in the 2020-2021 grant years. This activity focuses on increased participation in rural ACO by 10% during year two of the project period. ACO quality assistance and training are conducted by a quality consultant and Dixon Hughes Goodman, the company that assists in administering the ACO. For FY21, 11 CAHs participated in the ArchPro Coding Bootcamp. All CAHs participated in educational sessions. The ACO recruitment is only allowed for a limited time. The quality benchmarks are based upon current participants. The ACO is not recruiting new members. Membership was increased in the first year.

Please provide information about network activities in your state to support Flex Program activities.

MS SORH subcontracts to provide financial network meetings for education and sharing of best practices on the financial and operational subject matter. The activity is measured by the number of CAHs participating. MS SORH also participates in monthly meetings with CAHs' CEO and administrators hosted by the Mississippi Hospital Association to discuss potential updates in Flex activities. 

Please provide information about cross-state collaborations you may be working on related to the Flex Program.

The Mississippi Flex Program currently participates in inter-state collaboration with state offices in the mid-south in organizing regional CAH conferences. The Mississippi FLEX Program has met with some of its Region B Counterparts, and additional meet and greets are scheduled for other counterparts in the coming months.

Please describe how your state Flex Program is reaching out to non-traditional partners to support its work.

The Mississippi Flex Program currently works with the Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response to provide pediatric-specific education for EMS personnel for Mississippi North Region Pediatric Emergency Care. This is a year-long project. 

Program Statistics

Do you have any hospitals interested in converting to CAH status?:
Type of Organization State Government
Staffing (FTE) 1.55
Website Organization Website 
Number of CAHs 31

Flex Program Staff

Rachel Sprinkle
State Office Director, Mississippi
(601) 576-7216

State Office Director since February 2019

Alushus Cooper, PhD
Flex Coordinator, Mississippi
(601) 576-7216

Flex Coordinator since September 2021

Carmen Robinson
Program Evaluator, Mississippi
(601) 576-8151

Program Evaluator Since October 2021

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, $1,560,000 (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.