Webinar Recap: Accountable Care Business Models for Rural Hospitals

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Melinda Abrams of The Commonwealth Fund on Monday led an exploration of the ways some rural communities are innovating to meet the complex health and social needs of their older and sicker populations.

Five experts: Melinda Abrams is the VP of Delivery System Reform for The Commonwealth Fund. On Monday's webinar she was joined by four senior leaders from the National Rural Health Association, Caravan Health, Margaret Mary Health in Indiana, and Neshoba Hospital in Mississippi. Here's what they said (234 words):

  • Brock Slabach, SVP Member Services, National Rural Health Association: Rural health organizations operate in conditions that require creative thinking and new strategies in care delivery system reform. Brock believes "rural can lead" in the new era of value-based care.
  • Lynn Barr, CEO, Caravan Health, a healthcare consulting company working with 23 ACOs: In rural areas, an ACO's biggest problem is usually access to care, owing to the country's clinical workforce shortage. The best workforce investment has been an embedded population health nurse in each clinic—which was confirmed in December 2016 as a key finding in CMMI's final evaluation report on the Pioneer ACO model.
  • Tim Putnam, President/CEO, Margaret Mary Health, a critical access hospital in southeast Indiana: Margaret Mary's board of directors has been committed to the volume-to-value transition since 2013. Their main focus is not on shared savings, but rather quality improvement. They've approached their work in accountable care as a learning opportunity, and while they "actually did a lot of stuff wrong" at first, their strength in care coordination is now a core asset.
  • Lee McCall, CEO, Neshoba County General Hospitalcentral Mississippi: When it comes to accountable care, they "don't want to be a passenger in the bus." Instead, they're driving towards more integration and alignment across their system, with 3% more revenue and 17% less cost last year, and $13 million in shared savings attributable to their acccountable care model.


Topics: Accountable Care, Rural Health