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Virginia Department of Health

Top Flex Activities

Program Area: Support for Quality Improvement

The Virginia State Office of Rural Health (SORH) continues to partner with Stroudwater Associates & the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association's Hospital Research & Education Foundation (VHREF) in an effort to support quality & operational improvement. Stroudwater provides Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project (MBQIP) technical assistance and VHREF continues to lead the Virginia Rural Hospital Coaching Collaborative (Collaborative) that will focus on care transitions, patient communication & discharge planning. 

Program Area: Support for Financial and Operational Improvement

The Virginia SORH continues to partner with Stroudwater Associates to support Virginia critical access hospitals (CAHs) with financial and operational improvement. Stroudwater Associates will continue to host in-state financial and operational improvement meetings, conducting on-site financial/operational in-depth assessments for two Virginia CAHs and conducting follow-up action planning sessions for several CAHs throughout the fiscal year (FY) 2018. 

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

Virginia plans to host a leadership symposium on the topic of starting a community paramedicine program. The symposium will target rural emergency medical services (EMS) agencies, EMS council leadership, and rural hospitals (CAHs and Small Rural Hospital Improvement Grant Program (SHIP) hospitals). In Virginia, EMS is regulated to provide care for emergent needs only. This is an oppertunity for healthcare providers in Virginia to begin the discussion and learn from other states/subject matter experts (SMEs) on community paramedicine best practices and successes. The goal of the symposium is to encourage EMS agencies and hospitals to conduct local needs assessments to determine if community paramedicine would be beneficial to their community. 

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

At a state level, the Virginia Flex Program has begun partnerships with the Office of EMS and the Office of Epidemiology’s Antibiotic Stewardship program which will enhance Flex activities. The Virginia SORH Director continues to participate in the advisory committee to the commissioner, reviewing the population health activities of Ballad Health - the new health system in southwest Virginia.

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

The Virginia Rural Health Coaching Collaborative through Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA) provides an opportunity for CAHs and SHIP-eligible hospitals to participate in leadership development, quality improvement, and hear the latest research and updates that relate to CAHs.

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

In the FY 2017 grant year, VHREF updated the Virginia Rural Hospital Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) Dashboard. The dashboard is a subset of all Virginia Patient Expierence data, as measured by the HCAHPS survey. A new feature of the updated Dashboard includes readily accessible hyperlinks to the VHHA-created Patient and Family Experience Improvement Guide including: best practices, specifically designed to assist hospitals in achieving improved outcomes in each of the HCAHPS domains. In the FY 2018 year, the Virginia SORH will be working to create an interative MBQIP scorecard to visually drive quality improvement and decision making for the Virginia CAHs. 

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


Program Statistics

Type of Organization State Government
Staffing 1.0 FTEs
Number of CAHs 7
Website URL Organization Website

Flex Program Staff

Heather Anderson
Director, Division of Primary Care and Rural Health, Virginia
(804) 864-7426

Director, Division of Primary Care and Rural Health since September 2015

Clarissa Noble
Flex Coordinator, Virginia
(804) 864-7433

Flex Coordinator since May 2018

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.