The Frontier Community Health Integration Project (FCHIP) Demonstration was created to develop and test new integrated and coordinated health care technology and practices in small, rural populations. The overall goal is to improve health outcomes and lower Medicare costs.
Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) often serve as the base for health care in the most rural populations, where specialty services may not be financially feasible due to lack of patients. The Frontier Community Health Integration Project Demonstration aims to support the CAH in keeping their patients in the community who might otherwise be transferred to providers in other cities for specialized care. According to the CMS website, “the specific objective is to test whether investing in certain services will enhance care for patients, increase integration and coordination of care among providers, and reduce avoidable hospitalizations, admissions and transfers, ultimately improving the quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries and lowering costs.”
The Medicare payment changes for the selected CAHs went into effect August 1, 2016 for a duration of three years and is scheduled to end July 31, 2019. What were the requirements for the eligible organizations to participate in the Demonstration? The CAHs that were selected were located in a state in which at least sixty-five percent of its counties have a population density of six or fewer people per square mile.These states were limited to: Alaska, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota and Wyoming. The CAHs also had to express intent in meeting community health needs in areas of telemedicine, nursing facility care, home health services and ambulance services.
The project includes new processes, education of medical staff, implementing new technology that is targeted for rural communities to increase patient engagement and educating the patient in those areas and on how to take ownership of their health. This demonstration could make a huge impact in rural communities and greatly improve patient care.
CoreTech has experience with rural facilities and we encourage HIT and new implementations that lead the way in technology. We’ve assisted other rural facilities in implementing new technologies such as patient portals, telemedicine, and connecting to an HIEs. We are excited to see the results and actions implemented by the hospitals from this demonstration. The results from this process will prove that although implementing new technology and processes is tedious, it will pay off in the end by increasing patient engagement and patient care.
We’d love to create a discussion with you on this project or other projects CoreTech is working on that relate to this project. Contact us for us for more information or check out CMS’ website for more information on FCHIP: https://innovation.cms.gov/initiatives/Frontier-Community-Health-Integration-Project-Demonstration