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.
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.
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.