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A Guide for Rural Health Care Collaboration and Coordination

Resource Topic: Promising Practice, Workforce, Operations, Outreach

Year Developed: 2019

Resource Type: Publication

Primary Audience: Enabling Staff Health Center Staff
Secondary Audience: Clinicians

Language: English

Developed by: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (See other resources developed by this organization).

Resource Summary: A Guide for Rural Health Care Collaboration and Coordination was developed in cooperation with local, state, and national level leaders representing various rural health care organizations. This document discusses key lessons learned from efforts these leaders have pursued in their own rural communities.

Resource Details: Safety net health care providers in rural communities face a unique combination of challenges, including limited economies of scale, heavy dependence on public payers, low patient volume, and unnecessary duplication of services among providers. Rural providers like Health Centers/Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), small rural hospitals, Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs), Rural Health Clinics (RHCs), and local public health departments may perceive some level of competition with each other for limited resources, staff, and patients, which can put key services at risk. This Guide discusses and illustrates through case studies how collaboration and coordination among rural providers can address these issues and improve care for these communities.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $6,375,000 with 0 percentage financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit HRSA.gov.