Promising Practice: West Virginia Uses CAH Rural Health Network to Drive Performance Improvement for Rural Hospitals

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The West Virginia Flex Program partners closely with the West Virginia Hospital Association Critical Access Hospital Network (WVHA CAH Network) to help improve quality and financial performance for all 20 CAHs throughout West Virginia.  The Network developed ten years ago through a HRSA Network Development Grant and has continued to thrive ever since.  According to Shawn Balleydier, Assistant Director of the West Virginia Office of Rural Health, “this is the best thing that has happened to the Flex Program in West Virginia.”  Balleydier works closely with Network Director Dianna Iobst to ensure that the quality and financial improvement needs of CAHs are met.

Communication is key to ensure the continued success of the Network.  Balleydier and Iobst meet regularly to discuss progress and next steps.  They also meet monthly with CAHs by phone and make sure they conduct at least one on-site visit each year to provide technical assistance for any of the program areas.  CAHs are truly engaged with the direction of the Network.  According to Iobst, “sometimes all they need is a facilitator and someone to handle the meeting logistics.”  She continued, “We recently had a CFO retreat that was a big success that will become an annual event.  Additionally, several CAHs want to start a CPSI user group similar to our Infection Control Network, so we will help them facilitate.”

Current projects include Peer Review, Balanced Scorecard and MBQIP.  WV has 100% CAH participation in MBQIP.  They are reporting on all MBQIP measures and are in the process of collecting data for Phase 3 implementation.  There are challenges to overcome, so the Network will focus the 2015 CAH site visits on MBQIP technical assistance.  The Network’s goal is to find out how they can help CAHs move the bar toward better performance improvement.  Other initiatives in 2015 include developing new financial best practices after WV’s successful Medicaid expansion.

Does your SORH have a “Promising Practice”? We’re interested in the innovative, effective and valuable work that SORHs are doing. Contact Kassie Clarke, Branch editor, at kassiec@nosorh.org to set up a short email or phone interview in which you can tell your story.

 

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