Oklahoma State Flex Profile

Top Flex Activities

Program Area: Support for Quality Improvement: 

The Oklahoma Flex Program has a great relationship with their former quality improvement organization (QIO). Through this relationship, they have coordinated and hosted workshops throughout the state that focused on health information technology (HIT) privacy and security and meaningful use (MU). These workshops are open to hospital and clinic staff with really good turnouts. Surveys were utilized at these workshops to measure effectiveness and learn about other topics that are of interest to the attendees. Most recently, the focus has been on offering quality webinars and peer review services for CAHs.

The Oklahoma Flex Program has been working with a national quality consultant for many years and will continue that work into the next grant year. Utilizing resources from this consultant, the Flex Program is able to help hospitals start an online calendar system to streamline quality assurance activities into one master list. This allows hospitals to maintain a survey-ready culture within their facilities. Currently, the Oklahoma Flex Program is measuring the effectiveness of this program by the number of deficiencies participating facilities receive on the most recent Medicare survey at the hospitals. The Oklahoma Flex Program also has a great relationship with the Oklahoma Hospital Association. 

CAHs in Oklahoma benefit from the quality webinars that are made available. During the previous grant year, the Oklahoma Flex Program has partnered with the Oklahoma State University (OSU) Simulation Lab to provide hands-on training in the emergency department (ED). The training consists of airway instruction and hands-on training with the tools. Hospital personnel are able to run codes on the simulation mannequin allowing staff to take a team approach to refreshing skills. There are plans to expand this training to offer more trauma-related skills and tailor programming to the needs of each specific hospital.

Please share a success story about reporting quality data or using quality data to help Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) in your state improve patient care: 

The collection method of emergency department transfer communication (EDTC) data was updated in the previous grant year. CAHs in Oklahoma now submit their quarterly data via Survey Monkey.

Program Area: Support for Financial and Operational Improvement: 

The Flex Program provided financial and operational improvement services in the form of charge master reviews, productivity analysis, revenue cycle management and full financial and operational assessments. CAHs were asked to complete an electronic application of which services would benefit their facility the most. Facilities were selected based on need derived from Flex Monitoring Team financial indicators. The services were completed through accounting firms. The Flex Program has been measuring the success of these assessments through satisfaction surveys as well as incremental reviews once the assessment has been completed.

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

The Flex Program has been very active in helping hospitals with the community health needs assessment (CHNA) requirement. 2015 and 2016 were busy years as 501(c)3 facilities were completing their second CHNA. A total of 11 CHNAs were completed for CAHs during the previous grant year. The Flex Program is measuring the effectiveness of the CHNA process through a series of paper tools that are handed out at each meeting, along with an overall evaluation that is sent to the hospital Chief Executive Officer (CEO) upon completion of the process. The Flex Program also conducts check-in meetings with the hospital to gauge their progress in implementing activities based on the priorities addressed by the community. The Flex Program has compiled success stories into a best practices document that was distributed to rural hospitals in Oklahoma.

Please provide information about Collaboration/Shared Services (specifically connected to population health management): 

During the spring 2016 semester, Master of Public Health (MPH) students enrolled in the Designing Public Health Programs course selected as their project a health priority from a rural community. The communities and priorities were derived from a cohort of rural hospitals who completed a CHNA in 2014 and 2015. Each student selected one priority, developed further background information about the community and need, and then developed or modified an intervention to help address the priority. After the completion of the course, hospital administration received a video of the student’s program presentation to their peers and a complete resource guide that included the methods, intervention and details of implementation. 

This collaboration yielded great results and provided valuable information to participating CAHs of programs to address priorities identified through their CAHs to positively impact the health of their local population. This collaboration has expanded for the spring 2017 semester. The students will work in teams for the Designing Public Health Programs course to address their selected priority. These priorities and programs will then be included in the program evaluation course where a detailed evaluation plan will be developed and made available to participating CAHs.

Program Area: Support for Designation of CAHs: 

Assistance provided by the Oklahoma Office of Rural Health for CAH conversion is on an as-needed basis. Staff will provide documentation and data when requested by a hospital that is considering the CAH designation to see if location, payer mix, etc. meet the criteria to be eligible for conversion. Oklahoma has recently had two new CAH conversions.

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

This OORH is not directly providing information to CAHs or communities around the transition to value-based care; rather the staff are involved with other partnering organizations around the state that are more involved in those efforts.

From the last Flex Program year, please describe a best practice you would like to share with other states: 

The EDTC data collection via Survey Monkey has been a very straightforward and rewarding creation. The hospitals have noted that they prefer this method over previous, and the reporting rates have increased. 100 percent of Oklahoma CAHs reported EDTC data during Quarter 3 of 2016.

Program Statistics

What type of organization is your Flex office housed in?: 
What is the number of full time employees (FTE) in your Flex office?: 
How many CAHs are in your state?: 
Do you have any hospitals interested in converting to CAH status?: 

Additional Information

Flex Program Staff

Corie Kaiser
State Office Director, Oklahoma
(405) 945-8606

Specialty Areas / Background

  • Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project (MBQIP)
  • Community engagement specialist
  • Grants and contracts

State Office Director since November 2011

Pete Walton
Program Evaluator, Oklahoma
(405) 945-8608

Specialty Areas / Background

  • Program development
  • Evaluation
  • SHIP grant

Program Evaluator since January 2013 

Lara Brooks
Rural Health Analyst, Oklahoma
(405) 945-8609

Specialty Areas / Background

  • Community engagement
  • Data analytics
  • Economic impacts

Rural Health Analyst since January 2014

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.