The Office receives Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Critical Access Hospital) grant funds and contracts with several partners (e.g. Nebraska Hospital association, and the Nebraska Rural Health Association) to address three major goals: (1) support for quality improvement, (2) support for operational and financial performance, and (3) support for health system development and community engagement. Some of the activities during 2011 are: quality improvement focusing on reporting and benchmarking, implementation of specific tools, remote pharmacy coverage, and to concentrate on critical access hospitals to build local and regional systems of care (all 65 critical access hospitals are part of seven networks in Nebraska). Work continues to strengthen the EMS infrastructure and Health Information Technology Knowledge base. Contact Dave Palm, firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: (402) 471-0146.
The Office also receives funds from the Small Hospital Improvement Program Grant (SHIP). These funds are can be used for: (1) value-based purchasing programs (VBP) includes data collection activities, (2) accountable care organizations (ACOs) includes activities that improve quality outcomes, (3) payment bundling includes building accountability across the continuum of care, and (4) implementation of prospective payment systems (PPS) includes billing, coding and staff training in payment systems for all rural classified hospitals.
Health Workforce Shortage: The Office is working with many partners to collect best practices and ideas for the creation of strategic action plan to address present and future workforce shortages.
The Office of Rural Health works with other stakeholders at a national level to address national, regional and state rural health issues.
The Nebraska Rural Health Association's Annual Conference is co-sponsored by our Office and you may find more information about the Annual Conference at their web site http://www.nebraskaruralhealth.org/.