NCHN Blog

Rural Health Network Evaluation: What and Why?

Mar 6, 2015 11:34 AM

This article was written by Christy Sullenberger, MS, Director of Member Services, and Rebecca J. Davis, Ph.D., Executive Director of NCHN, for the “Networking News” monthly newsletter. The Network Technical Assistance Project is funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through a contract to Rural Health Innovations, LLC, a subsidiary of the National Rural Health Resource Center.

Evaluating the network organization or a specific network program is an essential element of performance and process improvement, as well as overall assessment of effectiveness. Evaluations are used to improve programs, build organizational capacity, demonstrate value, and provide a basis for decision-making. While there is no set method for network evaluation, an evaluation typically addresses inputs, processes, outputs, and outcomes. Each of these elements provides insight into a different aspect of the network organization. Taken together, evaluation is a useful tool for the network leader, Board, stakeholders, and present and future funders.

A well-executed evaluation will also provide a statement of value, which is notoriously difficult for many health networks. Historically, health networks can illustrate positive value and promising programs, but quality quantitative data is lacking. In order to provide a good illustration of a network program’s impact, and ultimately the value of the network an evaluation plan should be developed and executed. The process should begin by determining clearly stated and measurable goals for the program, define metrics (how will you measure the impact of project), collect data, analyze the data against program goals and objectives, and then illustrate the connection of the program’s outcomes to the network’s value.

An evaluation should show a direct link between the program activities and outcomes and should address a number of questions, including:

  • What do I need to know to make program decisions and adaptations?
  • What is working well and what is not?
  • How well does the program deliver value to members and stakeholders?

Potential funders, including private foundations and governmental agencies, are seeking justification for the investments they make in rural health networks. A good evaluation plan, along with previous outcomes, assists them in achieving this goal. A good example of the importance of evaluation to HRSA Rural Health Network Development Programs, is stated in a recent RFP Guidance,

“Evaluation is a very important component of the RHND Program. The collection of performance measures from past RHND cohorts and numerous rural health network case studies demonstrated positive outcomes. But, due to the lack of evidence and challenges using traditional quantitative methodologies to measure network outcomes, it is difficult to ascertain the significance and uniqueness of rural health networks that support positive health outcomes in rural communities. Project-level evaluations of RHND grantees will assist in determining and validating the reasons why rural health networks are an important strategy in the improvement of rural healthcare. A comprehensive evaluation approach should contain contextual, implementation and outcome evaluative components. And the process and result of evaluation should not only assist in the understanding of the benefits of rural health networks but be utilized in a manner that enhances and improves the functions and activities of the network.” (p.5, Rural Health Network Development Program Funding Opportunity Announcement, FY 2014, Health Resources and Services Administration, Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP))

Rural Health Network Evaluation: When and How?

As part of your rural health network development grant proposal, you have already outlined program activities and expected outcomes. Prior to developing the proposal, you likely completed a needs assessment and know exactly what your vision is for the implemented project. You will now need to execute your evaluation plan. The evaluation approach you choose guides you in the collection and organization of data, so it is important to develop an evaluation plan early in the process of implementation. In addition, as you begin collecting data, you can conduct an ongoing evaluation, which determines if implementation is going as expected. This will lead to the final evaluation of the project and will determine if the stated objectives were met.

An evaluation may be goals-based, process-based (formative), outcomes-based (summative), or a combination of these. A goals-based evaluation determines whether you are meeting your overall objectives. A process-based evaluation addresses how your program works and highlights strengths and weaknesses. An outcomes-based evaluation addresses the benefits of your program to network members and/or the community. A final evaluation will often include pieces of all of these approaches.

Preparation

Before developing your evaluation plan, it is essential to sit down and re-summarize your proposed program’s activities and objectives. One common guideline for developing goals and objectives is the SMART acronym. All objectives should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time bound. Ensure that you have a strong list of realistic goals, achievable objectives, and appropriate activities that link directly to the desired results. Consider the purpose of your evaluation, outline the specific questions that the evaluation will answer, and decide how and how often data will be collected. You may want to consider using a logic model to assist in planning (see more at The Logic Model). Once this template is developed, you can use it to identify specific metrics, determine the kind of data that you want to collect, and choose an evaluation approach that is appropriate to the project.

Evaluation Methods

There are a variety of evaluation methods and models. Each method has strengthens and weaknesses. The important question to answer, is which method will best provide actual data that can be used to determine the effectiveness of the proposed project. An evaluation plan for the proposed project may need to incorporate different approaches.  Some basic methods of program evaluation include the following:

  • Questionnaires and surveys: can be analyzed and presented numerically/quantitatively
  • Interviews: provide primarily qualitative outcomes and can be conducted in person or on the phone and should be targeted and clear
  • Documentation review: can be inexpensive, but may not provide a complete picture
  • Focus groups: can provide a range of feedback, but may be slightly difficult to present analytically
  • Case studies: can provide an in-depth look at a program and many variables
  • Others (see Overview of Methods to Collect Information for a list of  primary methods and the pros and cons of each)

The guiding principle in the selection of an evaluation method/s is to collect and present the most useful information about a program. Throughout the process, keep in mind that the method you choose will determine how the results are collected. And, in order to avoid introducing bias, you will need to develop a process that ensures that data is collected in the same way each and every time.

Common Components of an Evaluation Report  

When you have identified your method/s and collected data, you will then need to communicate your findings. There are many ways to structure the evaluation, and organization and content will depend on your process and methodology, but the following is a common structure of an evaluation:

  1. Title page
  2. Table of contents
  3. Executive summary
  4. Purpose of the evaluation
  5. Organization and program background
  6. Overall evaluation goals
  7. Methods used
  8. Interpretations and conclusions
  9. Recommendations
  10. Appendices

For more detail on the above, see Contents of an Evaluation Plan. As you embark on your program evaluation and tie it into your network assessment, keep in mind that the most important element in the evaluation process is that you start early in the process of implementation and that you are consistent in your collection methods.

Additional Reading

Basic Guide to Outcomes-Based Evaluation for Nonprofit Organizations with Very Limited Resources (Free Management Library)

Basic Guide to Program Evaluation (Including Outcomes Evaluation) (Free Management Library)

Critical Components of Evaluation by Alana Knudson, Ph.D., National Rural Health Resource Center Evaluation Workshop (August 6, 2014)

Designing Evaluations (GAO/PEMD-10.1.4, United States General Accounting Office - Program Evaluation and Methodology Division, 1991)

Evaluation for Nonprofits (Nonprofit Answer Guide)

Tools and Resources for Assessing Social Impact (TRASI) (Foundation Center)

Tools and Strategies for Managing Health Networks: Network Evaluation (NCHN)

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Featured Member: Karen Nichols, Executive Director of Upper Midlands Rural Health Network

Aug 4, 2014 04:50 PM

Karen Nichols became the Executive Director for the Upper Midlands Rural Health Network (UMRHN) in June 2014.  UMRHN is a 501(c)(3) founded in 2004 with a mission to improve health in Chester and Fairfield counties in South Carolina through a collaboration of a diverse group of agencies focused on access to care, health promotion, and education. 

Prior to accepting this position, Karen served for six years as the Economic Development Director for a Federally recognized Indian Tribe, the Catawba Indian Nation.  In this role, she developed strategies and programs to enable the Tribe to position itself for economic growth. She managed two Federal contracts with the Bureau of Indian Affairs totaling $400,000 which established a vocational training program and an entrepreneurship program.  She also brought in seven additional grants totaling over $1.2 million to establish programs such as financial education, teen dropout prevention, residential weatherization, land acquisition, photovoltaics, and a revolving loan program.  Before working for the Tribe, Karen spent eight years in the marketing department of the North Carolina’s largest gated tourist attraction.  In this capacity, she worked in all aspects of marketing, including website development, promotions, group sales, public relations, and customer-loyalty programs. 

Prior to moving to the Carolinas, Karen worked for six years at her alma mater, Virginia Tech.  In her first role, she worked with county economic development officers, local elected officials, manufacturers, and the professors to leverage the knowledge and research at the university for the purpose of economic growth.  Her second position was with the College of Engineering in a major-gift fundraising capacity.  Karen participated in a $50-million university-wide campaign soliciting gifts of $25,000 or more from individuals, corporations, and private foundations.  Karen earned a B.A and an MBA from Virginia Tech.

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Cindy Siler recognized as 2014 Outstanding Health Network Leader

Jul 10, 2014 02:01 PM

Cindy Siler and husbandCindy Siler (Brentwood, Tennessee) -- 2014 NCHN Outstanding Health Network Leader (pictured right, with husband)

The National Cooperative of Health Networks Association (NCHN) announced the 6th national award winners during its 2014 Annual Educational Conference in St. Louis, Missouri last month. Cindy Siler, Deputy Director of Tennessee Rural Partnership, was selected as the recipient of the 2014 NCHN Outstanding Network Leader. NCHN is a membership organization comprised of health network leaders from throughout the nation. The Outstanding Network Leader Award recognizes a network leader with at least five (5) years of experience for leadership in managing a successful health network organization.

Tennessee Rural Partnership (TRP) was incorporated in 2005 to serve the state by assisting in recruitment and retention of physicians and other health professionals. Since 2006, under Siler’s leadership, TRP has provided invaluable services to the rural areas of the state. TRP has placed 81 clinicians serving over 200,000 patients throughout the state and has implemented over 40 rural rotations. Its Stipend Incentive Program has given over $7.7 million to rural Tennessee.

Siler serves on the NCHN Board of Directors and is Chair of the Membership Task Force, a member of the 2013 Leadership Learning Community and an active and frequent participant on NCHN Coffee/Tea Chats. TRP recently underwent a major reorganization, moving from an independent organization to forming a partnership with the Tennessee Hospital Association. “Her expertise in handling this transition was one of the reasons that she was nominated for this award,” said Rebecca Davis, Executive Director of NCHN. “Cindy managed to keep the core mission of TRP intact and protected, while supporting staff during the transition. She is an active participant in membership calls and activities, and her willingness to share her growth experience with other network directors and support her peers while dealing with her network’s transition are shining indicators of her keen leadership abilities.” She continues to grow in her dual role, as a Deputy Director in the Hospital Association’s organizational chart, assuming duties related to that position, while serving as the TRP’s Director. 

“Cindy is a champion of healthcare for the rural and underserved in Tennessee,” continued Dr. Davis. “Everything she does comes back to the goal of expanding primary care access to the most vulnerable populations. She is a tireless advocate for this mission, and her lifetime of service reflects her dedication.” During her career in the non-profit healthcare industry, Siler has served on numerous boards and led community activities. She has been the Board President of both the Tennessee Primary Care Association and the Rural Health Association of Tennessee.  In 2013, she was awarded the Eloise Hatmaker Distinguished Service Award by The Rural Health Association of Tennessee.

NCHN is a professional membership organization of health network leaders across the nation. Its mission is to support and strengthen health networks through collaboration, networking, leadership development and education. The Association has members in 31 states. By definition, health networks are formed when three or more health care providers formally come together to better meet the needs of patients in their service area. These providers often include hospitals, community health centers, critical access hospitals, physician practices, mental health providers, rural health clinics and other for-profit and not-for-profit health care organizations. The networks strive to increase access to quality health care for local patients and streamline the cost of that care. For more information please go to www.nchn.org.

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Coastal Carolinas Health Alliance receives 2014 Outstanding Health Network award

Jul 10, 2014 01:59 PM

The National Cooperative of Health Networks Association (NCHN) announced the 6th national award winners during its 2014 Annual Educational Conference in St. Louis, Missouri last month. Coastal Carolinas Health Alliance (CCHA) was selected nationally as the 2014 Outstanding Health Network. The Outstanding Health Network award recognizes a network that has improved access to health services in its service area and has improved the coordination of resources for members using particularly innovative and comprehensive approaches. Award winners are nominated and chosen by their national peers.

Established in 1991, Coastal Carolinas Health Alliance (CCHA) has proven to be a sustainable and growing network of twelve hospitals throughout Southeastern North Carolina and Northeastern South Carolina.  Now more than ever, regional collaboration and community partnerships play a pivotal role in accomplishing the mission of CCHA, which is to improve the quality of healthcare while reducing costs. In 2013 alone, CCHA saved its member hospitals over 6.1 million dollars.

CCHA members remain on the cutting edge of healthcare training and technology. This year, CCHA’s Health Information Exchange (CCHIE) was honored with both a Member Achievement Award for Community Impact and Innovation from Amerinet and an Intel Health IT Award from NCHICA. CCHIE has gone above and beyond simply putting a dollar amount on the value they are bringing to North Carolinians statewide—they have captured “Stories From the Field” exploring the use of HIE resources among practices and hospital system.  These stories continue to capture the lasting impact on populations served.  The leadership, outreach, and education CCHIE brings to all levels of healthcare entities in their region are innovative and lasting.

“Coastal Carolinas Health Network is a model of a sustainable, innovative, and successful network,” said Rebecca Davis, Ph.D., Executive Director of NCHN. “From adapting to the changing context of healthcare delivery to saving members millions of dollars and improving patient care, CCHA illustrates the immense value that a well operated health network can have in its community.”

Yvonne Hughes, CEO, accepted the award on behalf of CCHA. “For over twenty years, CCHA’s mission has been excellence. Whether in providing cutting-edge educational opportunities, regional networking and collaboration, or cost-savings that directly impact the quality of patient care, we have worked hard to bring outstanding value to our members,” said Hughes. “Every success for the Alliance is a success for the patients within our communities.”

NCHN is a professional membership organization of health network leaders across the nation. Its mission is to support and strengthen health networks through collaboration, networking, leadership development and education. The Association has members in 31 states. By definition, health networks are formed when three or more health care providers formally come together to better meet the needs of patients in their service area. These providers often include hospitals, community health centers, critical access hospitals, physician practices, mental health providers, rural health clinics and other for-profit and not-for-profit health care organizations. Networks strive to increase access to quality health care for local patients and streamline the cost of that care. For more information, please go to www.nchn.org

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Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Recognized as 2014 Friend of NCHN

Jul 10, 2014 01:51 PM

ORHP receives 2014 Friend of NCHN AwardHRSA - Office of Rural Health Policy (Rockville, MD) – 2014 Friend of NCHN

The Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP), a part of the Health Resources and Services Administration, was recognized as the 2014 Friend of NCHN, during the 6th Annual National Cooperative of Health Networks (NCHN) Awards Luncheon in St. Louis, Missouri last month. The Friend of NCHN Award is given to recognize a program, institution, agency, or individual that has advocated for or provided extraordinary support to the Association. Award nominations are submitted by NCHN members and reviewed and voted upon by the Awards Committee, which is comprised of previous NCHN award winners.

Since its creation in 1987, ORHP has played a significant role in ensuring that rural communities have access to quality health care. “One of the many ways in which ORHP supports rural health is by providing grants to fund the planning, development, and implementation of health networks,” said Rebecca Davis, Ph.D., Executive Director of NCHN. “No other organization has been as vital to the success of the health network model as HRSA’s Office of Rural Health Policy.”  

In 1997, ORHP implemented the Rural Health Network Development Grant Program and since that time, additional specialized network development programs have been developed, including HIT, Workforce, HIT Workforce, Delta, and Network Development Planning.  “I think our Network Development and Network Planning programs are stronger because of our work and collaboration with NCHN,” said Tom Morris, Administrator of ORHP.  In addition to providing grant funding for networks, numerous ORHP staff members have attended, presented, and assisted with NCHN Conferences and the NCHN Leadership Summit.

“There is a powerful synergy that is created when you have multiple organizations working to see the health network structure succeed and thrive,” said Dr. Davis. “The success of health networks is at the heart of the missions of both NCHN and ORHP. NCHN, our members, and rural communities are fortunate to have ORHP staff as a knowledge resource and ORHP as a supporter of rural health.”

NCHN is a professional membership organization of health network leaders across the nation. Its mission is to support and strengthen health networks through collaboration, networking, leadership development, and education. The Association has members in 31 states. By definition, health networks are formed when three or more health care providers formally come together to better meet the needs of patients in their service area. These providers often include hospitals, community health centers, critical access hospitals, physician practices, mental health providers, rural health clinics and other for-profit and not-for-profit health care organizations. Networks strive to increase access to quality health care for local patients and streamline the cost of that care, as well.  For more information please go to www.nchn.org.

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Darcy Czarnik Laurin recognized as 2014 Outstanding New and Emerging Health Network Leader

Jul 10, 2014 01:43 PM

Darcy Czarnik Laurin (Midland, MI) -- 2014 Outstanding New and Emerging Health Network Leader

Darcy Czarnik Laurin, Network Director of Thumb Rural Health Network (TRHN), was recognized as the 2014 Outstanding New & Emerging Network Leader during the 6th Annual National Cooperative of Health Networks Awards Luncheon held last month in St. Louis, Missouri. The National Cooperative of Health Networks (NCHN) is a membership organization comprised of health network leaders throughout the nation. The Outstanding New & Emerging Network Leader Award recognizes extraordinary leadership demonstrated by a health network leader who has held the position for less than 5 years. Award nominations are submitted by NCHN members and reviewed and voted upon by the Awards Committee, which is comprised of previous award winners.

Darcy Czarnik Laurin has nearly fifteen years of experience working with both federal and state grant-funded organizations. She began her non-profit career working as a watershed coordinator designing and implementing watershed and wetland restoration initiatives. Soon after, Darcy’s focus switched to rural health, and she dedicated her work to helping alleviate the health challenges and disparities found in rural communities.  She has served as the Network Director of TRHN since 2011. 

“Since starting in her role as Network Director, Darcy Czarnik Laurin has been very involved in NCHN activities, fostering both her own development as a leader and serving as a resource for other health networks,” said Rebecca Davis, Ph.D., Executive Director of the National Cooperative of Health Networks. “She has actively participated in two NCHN Leadership Learning Communities, serves on multiple committees, chaired the 2014 Conference Planning Committee, and currently serves as NCHN President. Through all of this, her commitment to rural health and her desire to excel as a network leader are apparent.”

TRHN works to improve comprehensive health services in Michigan’s Thumb region by exploring and facilitating innovative approaches among the Network members. The TRHN membership consists of three county health departments, six critical access hospitals, and two tertiary-level hospitals. Services focus on population health management that include access to health care for the underserved population with an emphasis on primary care and dental services, as well as chronic disease management. Additional services are improved community health status, regional health behaviors data collection and utilization, community access to care, educational opportunities, and leadership development. Each TRHN member organization has a community-based mission and continually seeks and sustains meaningful relationships with other community organizations that increase viability, efficiency, and effectiveness through collaboration.

By definition, health networks are formed when three or more health care providers formally come together to better meet the needs of patients in their service area. These providers often include hospitals, community health centers, critical access hospitals, physician practices, mental health providers, rural health clinics and other for-profit and not-for-profit health care organizations. Networks strive to increase access to quality health care for local patients and streamline the cost of that care, as well.

NCHN is a professional membership organization of health network leaders across the nation. Its mission is to support and strengthen health networks through collaboration, networking, leadership development and education. The Association has members in 31 states. For more information please go to www.nchn.org

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Q & A with Jayne Berube, Program Coordinator with ORHP

Jun 16, 2014 06:56 PM
Jayne BerubeFor this electronic interview, we caught up with Jayne Berube, who recently began her work as Program Coordinator with ORHP. Given ORHP's strong support of health networks, we were excited to find out more about Jayne and about her thoughts on the role of networks, the direction of health care, and future opportunities for networks.

Q: You recently joined ORHP as Program Coordinator/Project Officer. Can you tell us a little about your background and the experiences that led to your current role?

A: Most of the work I have been doing over past several years has been around nutrition and public health. I worked for three years as a Registered Dietitian in a clinical setting, where I learned the systems of care within inpatient and outpatient settings. Prior to moving to the Office of Rural Health Policy at HRSA, I worked as a Public Health Nutritionist for the Indian Health Service in Chinle, AZ. In this role, I worked on diabetes prevention programs that included promoting breastfeeding, school wellness policies, and taxation of sugar sweetened beverages. As with any position in a rural setting, much of the success of these programs was dependent upon creating partnerships with community members and other important stakeholders.

Q: What are your plans for working with the new Network Development grantees?

A: Our focus with this new cohort of grantees will be to demonstrate outcomes, and position networks to be successful and sustainable in the current healthcare landscape. 

Q: What role do you believe experienced network leaders will have in assisting with the continuing implementation of the ACA?

A: Network members and leaders play a key role in getting the word out about the Affordable Care Act and the benefits of enrollment. They also play an important role in encouraging staff to become a Certified Application Counselor  (CAC) as a means of helping qualified members of the community obtain health insurance through the exchange.

Q: In light of the unique structure and diverse function of networks, do you foresee expanded opportunities for networks?

A: Yes, I think the changing healthcare landscape has made it imperative to create networks that not only collaborate to achieve efficiencies for the administration and financing of care, but can also be innovators of solutions that meet the unique health care needs of their communities despite limited financial and staffing resources. 

Q: What areas of focus do you believe are most ripe for health networks currently?

A: There are many areas of focus that are relevant to networks today, particularly within the delivery of healthcare. The goal of the Network Development program is to increase access and quality of health care within rural areas through network collaboration. To achieve this, the areas of network focus that we have identified as being the most important are the integration of health care services and delivery, expansion of access and quality of healthcare services, and utilizing networks to implement evidence based approaches to address and strengthen the health care system

Q: And, finally, we can’t miss the opportunity to ask you a few personal questions! Where are you from and what are your special interests and hobbies?

A: Of course! I grew up in Kennebunkport, Maine and went to school in Washington, DC and New York for my undergraduate and graduate degrees. I currently live in Washington, DC and enjoy many of the great cultural and outdoor events and opportunities that the city offers. I enjoy traveling when I can and often spend my weekends with family and friends.

Q: What is the best way to contact you?

A: I can best be reached by phone: 301-443-4281 or email JBerube@HRSA.gov

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Member Q&A with Susan Kaderle, MI-Connect

May 5, 2014 02:05 PM
 
MI-ConnectFor this feature, we interviewed Susan Kaderle, Executive Director of MI-Connect, who recently rejoined NCHN.  MI-Connect is a collaborative resource partnership to expand access to high quality healthcare services for the at-risk residents of Northern Michigan. It has 5 members and its programs include Physician and Mid-Level Recruitment and Retention, Mental/Dental Integration, Rural Health Outreach, and Community Health Worker focus. MI-Connect is one of the recipients of the recently announced Network Development grants, so we were excited to ask a few questions about their project.

Q: Congratulations on your receipt of the Rural Health Network Development grant. The abstract says that you will be expanding the Integrated Behavioral Health and School-Based Oral Health programs. Can you tell us a little about the specifics of the project (e.g., what you have in place currently and how the programs will be expanded)?

MI-Connect was a recipient of the 2011 Rural Health Network Development grant and our area of focus was integrated behavioral health services across our Network membership. Our service area included a five county area located in the northeastern part of lower Michigan. Since 2011 we have expanded our Network to include a larger geographical area that includes northwest Michigan and a total of 13 counties. With our new funding, we will be expanding behavioral health to the west side of the state as well as continue to expand integration on the east side. School based oral health integration is the second focus for us and will be integrating among all Network partners.

Q: This grant follows a Rural Health Outreach grant that focused on recruitment and retention. Did that grant provide you with a solid foundation of providers on which to base this new initiative?

The Rural Health Outreach grant funding for the recruitment and retention of primary care providers ended in 2012. The project became fully sustainable through financial support from additional partnerships throughout rural Michigan. This successful project provided the foundation to explore potential areas of collaboration which lead to a 2011 Network Development grant with an integrated behavioral health focus and also lead to another Rural Health Outreach grant in 2012 with a Community Health Worker focused program.

Q: What brought you back to NCHN and what do you look for from NCHN and other members to best support your work?

MI-Connect recently re-joined NCHN, we originally became involved in 2011, we needed to take time to focus on our programs and now feel that our Network is a very appropriate addition to NCHN, I look forward to participating in the many services that are offered.

 

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National Rural ACO Update: application period open

Mar 25, 2014 11:29 AM

The application period for the National Rural ACO is now open

LOI Reminder message:

The application period for the National Rural ACO is now open. If you are considering participating in the 2015 program year, please send the NRACO a non-binding Letter of Intent as soon as possible (deadline extended to April 18th). 

To access the NRACO’s webinars, pro forma, benefits, and pricing information, please visit their webpage for administrators. They recently released this inspiring 3-minute videoshowing the work that they’re doing with current members in Indiana.

Lynn Barr, founder of the NRACO, would be happy to host a private call or webinar with your administrative leadership, board of directors, and/or physicians. She also may be able to visit your community to answer questions in-person.

Please contact Lynn Barr (lbarr@ruralACO.com) and Georgia Green (ggreen@ruralACO.com) with any questions or to schedule a meeting. 

Georgia Green, MS
National Rural ACO
www.ruralACO.com
916.500.4777 (o)
916.914.2092 (f)
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ORHP wants your input on ACA related issues

Jan 6, 2014 01:58 PM

[From ORHP via NRHA]:

The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP) is interested in hearing from you on how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) implementation is going in rural communities. Here are some sample question for you to help provide input on:

1.    Are rural hospitals, Critical Access Hospitals and Rural Health Clinics hearing of issues related to utilizing new private insurance or Medicaid expansion coverage from the Marketplace? 

2.    Are patients having trouble getting an appointment with a particular type of doctor? Any issues filling prescriptions? 

3.    Are your former patients without coverage now using their private insurance at your facility? Or are they seeking care elsewhere? 

4.    Are rural hospitals, Critical Access Hospitals and Rural Health Clinics hearing from patients that they aren't sure they are eligible for Medicaid? 

5.    Are patients bringing in eligibility notices that are confusing? 

6.    Is the patient's plan accepting claims for newly eligible individuals or is the provider getting EOBs that the individual is not enrolled in Medicaid or the plan? 

Coverage through the Marketplace or Medicaid Expansion has only just begun, but ORHP wants to stay ahead of issues that emerge.  I encourage you to pass along any observations through the ACA email inbox

Additionally, ORHP invites you to participate in their ongoing weekly office hours to share any thoughts, suggestions and concerns you may have.  The information for the call is below: 

ORHP ACA Office Hours

Wednesday, January 8, 2014
3-4 p.m. EST
Call-in Number: (800) 857-3749
Passcode: ORHPACA
Adobe Connect Session:
https://hrsa.connectsolutions.com/orh1/

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