Initiative to transform health care in rural communities
Announced Tuesday by Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine, the program provides rural hospitals with a plan to have stable funding while transitioning away from a traditional fee-for-service reimbursement model.
“Rural communities deserve access to excellent health care,” said Tammy Anderer, PhD, MSN, CRNP, chief administrative officer of Geisinger’s north-central region. “This model allows us to make new investments in patient care and introduce new care models that focus on the needs of our patients and communities. This includes going upstream and looking at community health problems and identifying ways to address these issues.”
As part of the model, Geisinger Jersey Shore Hospital developed a transformation plan outlining their approach to improving community care. Since implementing the model on January 1, hospital leadership have already identified ways to invest in addressing top community health problems including diabetes, frequent emergency room visits and heart and lung diseases. The model also emphasizes working closer with community organizations to address social issues impeding patients from receiving health care.
“This model builds on Geisinger’s vision for building a health care delivery system that focuses on improving health and value for each community we serve,” said Karen Murphy, PhD, RN, Geisinger executive vice president and chief innovation officer. “We are looking forward to working with the Commonwealth on this important initiative.”
Dr. Murphy has served as Secretary of Health in Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration and led the Pennsylvania Rural Health Initiative during that time. She testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance about the challenges of rural health care in America.
Geisinger Health Plan (GHP) is a participating payor in the new health model. Health insurers play a crucial role in working with the Department of Health and participating hospitals to understand the financial impacts of changing care reimbursements.
“This new model is designed to help hospitals and patients,” said Steve Youso, president and chief executive officer of Geisinger Health Plan. “A model like this aligns with the values and goals we have as an organization to reduce health care costs by providing patients the best care in the most appropriate setting.”
The model is designed to pivot rural hospitals from focusing on inpatient, reactive care services to more outpatient, preventative care services.
Designated as a Critical Access Hospital by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Medicare program, Geisinger Jersey Shore Hospital provides inpatient acute, emergency, outpatient and sub-acute care. For more information on the PA Rural Health Model, click here.
Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 10 hospital campuses, a health plan with more than half a million members, a research institute and the Geisinger College of Health Sciences, which includes schools of medicine, nursing and graduate education. With more than 25,000 employees and 1,700+ employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at geisinger.org or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.