Five hospitals and five payers are participating in the first year of the Pennsylvania Rural Health Model, a multi-payer global budget model for rural critical access and acute-care hospitals in the state, state officials announced today. The hospitals are Barnes-Kasson County Hospital, Endless Mountains Health Systems, Geisinger Jersey Shore, UPMC Kane and Wayne Memorial Hospital. The payers are Highmark, Gateway Health, Geisinger Health Plan, Medicare and UPMC Health Plan. The six-year model, approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in 2017, is expected to include 18 hospitals by January 2020 and 30 hospitals by January 2021.

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Perspective
Improving rural health is an AHA priority because we truly cannot advance health in America without keeping our rural communities strong.