There were several points discussed at the 2019 Rural Health Conference. Managing rural healthcare facilities was one of the important topics, and the speaker talked about healthcare regulations and how to protect these facilities from water and pathogen infection. There were various presentations, poster sessions, and workshops from rural health professionals and their teams. Exhibitors also graced the event with their innovative products, services, and resources. The addition of more rural health clinics was also an important topic discussed.
What are rural health clinics?
These are clinics built to increase the availability of healthcare services in rural communities. A rural health clinic can profit, non-profit, or public. The clinic requires that a team approach must be utilized, meaning that there should be an attending physician, nurse practitioners, qualified midwives, and physician assistants – and they must be 50% staffed all the time. The RHC is also required to provide basic lab services and outpatient medical care services.
What are some things to consider prior to becoming an RHC?
It might be helpful to complete a financial assessment to see if becoming a legit RHC is a possible option. this will depend on the various services and payers provided. Sometimes, Medicaid provider options are better in RHCs. When assessing for financial feasibility, look at the bigger financial picture instead of the individual patient visits.
What is the difference between an independent RHC and a provider-based RHC?
An independent RHC is owned by a private entity and is a free-standing facility. It can be operated by a bigger healthcare system but has not qualified or have not applied for provider-based status. Over 50% of independent RHCs are owned and operated by clinicians.
A provider-based RHC, on the other hand, is connected to or part of a nursing home, home health agency, or a hospital that currently participates in the Medicare program. This type of facility operates under the professional supervision of that particular organization. Most provider-based RHCs are owned by hospitals.