A Look at the Pennsylvania Rural Health Model

In partnership with the CMS Innovation Center, Pennsylvania’s Department of Health developed the Pennsylvania Rural Health Model to test whether care delivery transformation and hospital global budgets can increase access to high-quality care, improve health, reduce the growth of hospital expenditures across payers, and improve the financial viability of rural Pennsylvania hospitals.  Under this model, CMS and other participating payers pay rural hospitals on a global budget—a fixed amount of revenue, set in advance, to cover all inpatient and hospital-based outpatient services.  In the brief, the Rural Health Value team explains their process for working one-on-one with rural hospitals to prepare a Transformation Plan (TP) with measurable goals for addressing potentially avoidable utilization, operational efficiency, and unmet community needs. This brief is intended for those exploring or considering global budget or other transformation models for rural hospitals (e.g., state governments considering global budgeting models, hospital associations, rural hospital administrators, federal policymakers, etc.).  Rural Health Value was created in a cooperative agreement with the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy to provide rural-centric expertise and assistance to support high performance rural health systems.  The brief can be accessed here.