Rural Health Providers Form Networks To Share Resources

Networking for rural health

From 1998 to 2003, project staff from AcademyHealth, Washington, a nonprofit policy institute, and consultants provided technical assistance to 46 rural health networks that were seeking to establish themselves or to embark on specific projects to expand access to services, improve quality of care or strengthen the viability of rural providers.

Rural health networks are a way for providers to pool their resources and work together to purchase equipment, share services and enter together into managed care contracts.

Results

  • Project staff conducted five technical assistance workshops and two policy conferences primarily for rural health network staff and board members but also involving state and federal officials responsible for rural health issues.
  • Project staff conducted 19 site visits to assist network leaders to gauge their network's stage of development and the steps they would need to take to develop further.
  • Project staff awarded grants of up $40,000 to 27 networks to engage consulting services to assist with projects to expand access to services, improve the quality of care or enable rural providers to participate in managed care contracts.
  • Project staff produced technical assistance materials including six monographs, two self-assessment tools and 25 profiles of the networks that received targeted consultations and completed their work.

Funding

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) provided $2,983,044 to fund the project from August 1998 to June 2003.

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