For information on the impact of Accountable Care Organizations on rural health read NRHA’s Journal of Rural Health article “The March to Accountable Care Organizations-How Will Rural Fare?“
Abstract Purpose: This article describes a strategy for rural providers, communities, and policy makers to support or establish accountable care organizations (ACOs). Methods: ACOs represent a new health care delivery and provider payment system designed to improve clinical quality and control costs. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) makes contracts with ACOs a permanent option under Medicare. This article explores ACA implications, using the literature to describe successful integrated health care organizations that will likely become the first ACOs. Previous research studying rural managed care organizations found rural success stories that can inform the ACO discussion. Findings: Preconditions for success as ACOs include enrolling a minimum number of patients to manage financial risk and implementing medical care policies and programs to improve quality. Rural managed care organizations succeeded because of care management experience, nonprofit status, and strong local leadership focused on improving the health of the population served. Conclusions: Rural provider participation in ACOs will require collaboration among rural providers and with larger, often urban, health care systems. Rural providers should strengthen their negotiation capacities by developing rural provider networks, understanding large health system motivations, and adopting best practices in clinical management. Rural communities should generate programs that motivate their populations to achieve and maintain optimum health status. Policy makers should develop rural-relevant ACO-performance measures and provide necessary technical assistance to rural providers and organizations.
WRHA Partners with At Health to Provide Reduced-Cost Mental Health Education to WRHA Members
As a WRHA member, you have the opportunity to provide an exceptional educational opportunity to the healthcare providers in your organization. WRHA has agreed to work with At Health in providing online mental health education at a reduced rate.
At Health is a leading online provider of mental health information and services for healthcare practitioners and those they serve. Their online professional community consists of more than 30,000 psychiatrists, pediatricians, family practitioners, psychologists, nurses, marriage and family therapists, social workers, counselors, medical researchers, educators, schools psychologists, caregivers, and others who meet the diverse needs of those with mental health concerns.
The company, founded by a physician in 1996, provides online mental health information, tools, and training that enhance the ability of healthcare providers to furnish high quality, personalized care to patients and their families. The Athealth.com Web site has received numerous awards recognizing the quality of its content, and relevance to the health care community, including the Global Information Infrastructure (GII) Semi-Finalist Award, Health Category.
At Health Products/Services
In 2000, the company launched At Health’s e-Campus http://www.athealthce.com, the premier source for high quality, online continuing education programs for mental health practitioners and other health care providers. To date, more than 34,000 courses have been completed by clinicians.
The company offers more than 100 online courses including a wide variety of subjects such as PTSD, depression, suicide prevention, grief, domestic violence, substance abuse, anxiety, couples therapy, anger management, family counseling, cultural competence, ethics, personality disorders, childhood disorders, brief therapy, HIPAA compliance, aging, psychopharmacology, and supervision.
At Health is committed to the men and women who serve in the military and have are added deployment-related courses to help clinicians to increase their awareness of veterans and their family members’ mental health needs.
Most Requested Online Courses
To look at their course catalog and view the CE approvals for courses visit http://www.athealthce.com.
Nurses, physicians, physician assistants, therapists can all benefit with the on-line educational programs.
Being a member of WRHA will provide you with a 30% discount on all classes. WRHA members can access the discount code and other information regarding the courses and certificates at: http://www.athealthce.com/info/WRHAregistration.html.
Your membership in WRHA is providing you with an excellent opportunity to enhance your expertise in providing behavioral health services to your community.
Health Reform Links
Washington State Hospital Association – New Health Care Reform Materials
In the wake of the new federal health care reform law, the Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA) has developed the first in a series of materials:
A powerpoint presentation, with speaking notes, highlighting the law’s major provisions to use during board or community presentations. The powerpoint can also be shortened as necessary. A summaryof major provisions with budgetary projections for Washington State. This summary is about 20 pages in length.
For those interested in more detail, the American Hospital Association (AHA) has a health care reform website, including a powerpoint for use with community groups and a summary of the law. (Must be a member of AHA to access these documents.)
WSHA continues to look at modeling the budgetary impacts of the health care reform law. As information becomes available, the Health Information Program will be sending you hospital specific information. The first in a series of reports will be available in the next several weeks.
WSHA staff are also available to make a presentation on the law at your hospital’s board or management meetings.
For more information on the law, please contact Chelene Whiteaker, Director, Advocacy and Policy, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-216-2545.
Washington Rural Health Association Resource Links
- The National Rural Health Association and What’s Different about Rural Health Care?
- Washington State Department of Health, Office of Community and Rural Health
- Area Health Education Center of Eastern Washington
- Western Washington Area Health Education Center
- Rural Health Clinic Association of Washington
- Washington State Legislature
- Washington State Hospital Association
- A Healthy America
- The Washington Health Foundation and The Healthiest State Campaign
- Washington Healthcare News