Feds to provide funding for rural hospitals

The new Community Health Access and Rural Transformation Model creates two tracks for funding.

The Trump administration is providing funds to bolster rural health systems.

According to a news release, the new Community Health Access and Rural Transformation (CHART) Model was derived from a recent executive order from President Donald J. Trump which seeks to improve rural health and telehealth access to ensure residents of these areas have access to high quality, affordable health care.

The CHART Model ties payment to value, increases choice, and lower costs of patients. It will empower rural communities to create a system of care which delivers high quality care to patients through new seed funding and payment structures, operational and regulatory flexibilities, as well as technical and learning support, the release says.

“The CHART Model represents our next opportunity to make investments that will transform the rural health care system, allowing us to use every lever to support all Americans getting access to high-quality care where they live,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma says in the release.

The two CHART Model participation tracks are:

  • Community Transformation Track – The administration is investing up to $75 million in seed money to up to 15 rural communities to take part in this track which provides upfront investments to help these communities implement care delivery reforms, provide predicable capitated payment, offer operational and regulatory flexibilities, as well as allowing participant hospitals to waive cost-sharing for Part B services. CMS will select these communities in September and winners will be announced in early-2021.
  • Acountable Care Organization (ACO) Transformation Track – This track also provides upfront investments to assist rural healthcare providers to improve outcomes and quality for rural patients by building on the ACO Investment Model. Participants will enter two-sided risk arrangements as part of the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) and may use all waivers available in the MSSP program. CMS will release a request for applications in spring 2021 and will select up to 20 rural ACOs to participate in January 2022.