The Rural Assistance Center is looking for state-level pilot and demonstration programs and would appreciate help from SORHs to identify interesting programs that are occurring in your state.

For several years, RAC has worked with FORHP on the Testing New Approaches section of the RAC website. This section has highlighted federal demonstration projects such as the Frontier Extended Stay Clinic (FESC) program and the Frontier Community Health Integration Program (FCHIP). We are currently examining whether this section could/should be expanded to include state level programs in an effort to show what is happening across the country to address the changing demands of rural healthcare.

We’re also interested in your feedback on the criteria (below) for inclusion. If you have thoughts on how we can better identify new approaches in rural healthcare, please share them with us.

Proposed Criteria:

  • Policy Focused – Require a regulatory or a legislative action that creates the opportunity for a systematic change. Could include a regulatory exception during a pilot phase, rather than operating under a state-wide policy change.
  • Pilot, Demonstration or Testing Stage – Models are currently being tested on a state, regional or multi-county level.
  • Rural Relevance – Specifically address the challenges of providing healthcare in rural areas, whether targeted for rural or not.
  • Any Success Rate – RAC is interested in sharing both successful and failed approaches to service delivery. We think there is much to be learned from models all along the success continuum.
  • Current -Innovation is from the past 5 years.

One example of such an approach that could be included is from Georgia’s Rural Hospital Stabilization Committee, which has recommended a policy change allowing for a “Hub & Spoke” pilot program. This program offers an alternative to closure for rural hospitals in Georgia by allowing them to remain open as stand-alone Emergency Departments. For more information on this approach, see Rural Hospital Stabilization Committee Final Report to the Governor.

Contact Brandon Baumbach at or 701.777.6025 to share your examples and feedback or to discuss this further. Do not hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have.


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