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Applauding Pennsylvania’s Rural Hospitals on Rural Health Day

November 19, 2020

On National Rural Health Day, HAP celebrates Pennsylvania’s rural hospitals for their outstanding work in the communities they serve.

This year, the tenth annual Rural Health Day highlights the “Power of Rural” hospitals to tackle the unique health care challenges within their communities. Across the country, rural residents face a greater risk of death for heart disease, cancer and stroke than their urban counterparts, and they rely on the outstanding care from their rural hospitals to address their health needs. In Pennsylvania, these hospitals serve nearly three million residents who would otherwise have to travel outside of their communities for routine and acute care.

Pennsylvania’s rural hospitals also are hubs for innovation. A recent report from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services noted that rural hospitals are “well-positioned to develop creative and innovative solutions and continuously advance their systems of care to improve their populations’ health.”

During 2019, the Pennsylvania Rural Health Model launched to ensure rural hospitals remain anchors in their communities. The program provides predictable, stable revenue for hospitals to invest in innovative programs that improve the health of the communities they serve.

Rural hospitals are using this new model to address several key public health priorities such as:

  • Creating access to preventive services
  • Addressing behavioral health and substance use in their communities
  • Improving health care management and emergency department utilization
  • Focusing on care for geriatric populations
  • Improving overall community health to reduce the need for more expensive acute care

HAP applauds rural hospitals for their indispensable care and continues to advocate for state and federal funding that will preserve rural health care across the commonwealth.

For additional information about Rural Health Day or Pennsylvania’s Rural Health Model, contact Kate Slatt, HAP’s vice president, innovative payment and care delivery. For more information about an upcoming webinar discussing the Pennsylvania Rural Health Model, contact HAP Education Services.