Realizing Rural Care Coordination: Considerations and Action Steps for State Policy-Makers
Michael Stanek, Carrie Hanlon, and Tess Shiras
Better coordination of patient care is an increasingly important part of not only advanced primary care models but also of broader strategies to create shared accountability across providers and care settings. States seeking to promote care coordination, either within Medicaid or through participation in multipayer initiatives, will run into long-standing challenges to delivering care and promoting health in rural areas. Rural areas often experience disparities in access to care, health status, and available infrastructure relative to their urban counterparts. Any strategy to coordinate care that aims to operate statewide or target rural areas must consider the needs of rural communities. This issue brief draws from the experiences of six states, Alabama, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Vermont, to identify common policy considerations and action steps for coordinating care in rural environments.
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