Realizing Rural Care Coordination: Considerations and Action Steps for State Policy-Makers

This brief by the National Academy for State Health Policy draws from rural health initiatives undertaken in Alabama, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Vermont to identify common policy considerations and the action steps to coordinate care in rural areas.

Action Steps Include

  • Assembling key stakeholders and seeking out partners in state government;

  • Surveying existing state infrastructure; and

  • Designing state-level policy structures that will govern rural health programs.

The authors point out that while officials in the highlighted states are proud of their successes, they all agree additional improvements can be made. Examples of these improvement strategies include developing better approaches to engage and utilize specialists, addressing provider shortages, and offering additional support for providers extending their after-work hours. These state programs provide a platform for state policy-makers to build upon to better coordinate care in rural areas.

Webinar

Rural areas often experience disparities in access to care, health status, and available infrastructure relative to their urban counterparts. In a webinar on April 2 hosted by State Health and Value Strategies, a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, speakers from Colorado, Montana, and New Mexico shared their approaches to developing, financing, and operating programs to better coordinate care in rural areas.
 

Presenters:

  • Heather Howard, JD, project director, RWJF State Health and Value Strategies Program, Princeton University
  • Wendy Sturn, program officer, Montana Health Improvement Program
  • Kathryn Jantz, program lead, Colorado Accountable Care Collaborative
  • Nancy Smith-Leslie, deputy director, Medical Assistance Division, New Mexico Department of Human Services
  • Carrie Hanlon, program manager, National Academy for State Health Policy
  • Michael Stanek, policy analyst, National Academy for State Health Policy

More from State Health and Value Strategies (SHVS)

State Health and Value Strategies (SHVS) is a program committed to providing technical assistance to support state efforts to enhance the quality and value of health care by improving population health and reforming the delivery of care services.

More from State Health and Value Strategies (SHVS)