Rural Health in Oregon
Thirty-three of Oregon’s 62 hospitals are in small and rural communities. These hospitals provide essential health care services to more than one million Oregonians and are the cornerstones within the communities they serve. For most areas, they are the largest employer, offering family-wage jobs and economic stability in their towns, while providing essential health services. However, rural hospitals face many special operational challenges. In 2015, OAHHS partnered with EcoNorthwest to study the economic contributions of rural hospitals. Click here to view the report: "Economic Contributions of Oregon's Community Hospitals: Selected Rural Communities"
Oregon’s small and rural hospitals are experiencing unprecedented changes in health care delivery and reimbursement, as the Affordable Care Act and Coordinated Care Organizations overhaul the health care system. With Patient Centered Medical Homes and a shift to new payment systems, Oregon’s small and rural hospitals have had to rethink their health care delivery and reimbursement structures. Rural hospitals in Oregon are actively focused on the Triple Aim goals of better care, better health, and lower cost while maintaining the highest levels of quality care. To this end, all of Oregon’s rural hospitals are implementing programs to achieve these goals, including population health management education, expanding access through virtual clinics, transitioning to post-acute care models, and establishing patient and family advisory councils, among others. For information about the proactive transformation work of Oregon’s small and rural hospitals, click here.
Rural hospitals are divided into three categories – Type A, Type B, and Critical Access Hospital. These designations help determine how hospitals get reimbursed for the care they provide to Medicare and Medicaid patients. Here’s a rundown of how these programs work.