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Wyoming Department of Health

Top Flex Activities

CAH Quality Improvement

Wyoming’s 16 critical access hospitals (CAHs) benefit from federal funds in addressing quality improvement activities including Studer Group, Custom Learning Solutions, training, education, and professional development. Scholarships for training, education, and professional development are in great demand and many of the requests are denied. The approval of scholarship requests is based on the significance of the application to improving Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project (MBQIP) and meeting the goals of the Flex Program. Data submitted in the key financial indicators present the opportunity for improvement in days cash on hand, days in accounts receivable, cost reporting, and accuracy in coding and billing. Rural emergency medical services (EMS) benefit from continuing education including grant writing and supervisor training. The need for population health includes diabetes education, suicide prevention, substance abuse, and available healthcare for the uninsured. 

CAH Operational and Financial Improvement

In the area of operational and financial improvement, nine Wyoming CAHs participate in benchmarking key financial indicators, cost reports and analysis, billing and coding, compliance, education, and training. Over the next five years, CAHs will be assisted with developing operational and financial improvement teams to address identified financial concerns. Wyoming is not currently participating in innovative healthcare model development. However, four Wyoming communities have expressed an interest in CAH designation resulting in updating and developing an application. A purpose of the Flex Program is to support Wyoming’s hospitals in CAH designation if requested. The objective of the Flex Program, through resources and activities, is to support access to necessary healthcare services in Wyoming’s rural communities. 

CAH Population Health Improvement

Specific to Wyoming CAHs, the Wyoming Hospital Association (WHA) conducted community health needs assessments (CHNAs) in 2016. Although combined analysis of the WHA CHNAs has not been done, similarities between the results of the Flex Team and rural health, in general, can be assumed. Through the next five years, the Wyoming Flex Program will support CAHs in identifying community and resource needs, building strategies to prioritize and address unmet needs of the community, and engaging stakeholders and public health experts to address specific health needs. 

Rural Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Improvement

Rural EMS quality and operational improvement includes training, education, and professional development. Wyoming’s rural EMS is provided funding to attend the 2019 Rural EMS and Care Conference, Wyoming Trauma Conference, World EMS EXPO, and coding, billing, and grant writing training. Working in conjunction with the EMS supplement, the Wyoming Flex Program is supporting two CAHs and one rural community with the development of community paramedicine. Throughout the next five years, Flex will support EMS quality and operational improvement and the development of community paramedicine in rural communities. 

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

Collaboration between the Wyoming Flex Coordinator, Quality Reporting Services (QRS), and Rural Health Solutions (RHS) contributes to the success of the Flex Program. The Wyoming Hospital Association (WHA), Mountain-Pacific Quality Health (Quality Improvement Organization), Wyoming Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), Wyoming Primary Care Office (WYPCO), and Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) Public Health Division (PHD) are available to support CAHs improvement efforts. Population health and EMS improvement activities benefit from cooperation with the Rural and Frontier Health Unit (RFHU), Office of Rural Health (ORH), Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS), Healthcare Acquired Infection (HAI) surveillance, Chronic Disease Prevention Program, and the Office of Health Equity (OHE). Support from the HRSA Flex Coordinator, the National Rural Health Resource Center, National Organization of State Office of Rural Health (NOSORH), and the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) preserve the integrity of the program by offering resources and sharing knowledge.

Program Statistics

Do you have any hospitals interested in converting to CAH status?:
Yes
Type of Organization State Government
Staffing (FTE) 1
Website Organization Website
Number of CAHs 16

Flex Program Staff

Alyssa Kennett
State Office Director, Wyoming
307-777-7293

State Office Director since April 2019.

Kyle Cameron
Flex Coordinator, Wyoming
(307) 777-8902

Specialty Areas / Background

Kyle has a master's degree in organizational leadership including human resource management, change theory, business, policy, procedures, systems and social science. Her previous work experience includes the Rural and Frontier Health unit of the Wyoming Public Health Division, Laramie County Community College as adjunct staff and human resource specialist at Community Action of Laramie County.

Flex Coordinator since October 2016

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, $1,009,121 (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.