The Alabama Rural Health Collaborative (ARHC) was created to help non-profit and rural public hospitals across Alabama. Several rural hospitals have closed in recent years, and many more are suffering from financial and operational challenges. These challenges often stem from reduced Medicaid reimbursements and high rates of chronic illness, such as diabetes and heart disease, in the patient populations these hospitals serve.
In March 2018, the Alabama Legislature established the AHRC to address these problems by creating a more stable environment for rural health care centers. The goal is to increase access to high-quality care for rural Alabamians and improve their health, at little or no cost to the participating hospitals.
The ARHC is the first rural hospital resource center in Alabama. It will provide technical assistance to eligible hospitals in a variety of areas, including compliance, coding, purchasing and supply chain, quality, strategic planning, provider recruitment, third-party partnerships, cost reporting, and insurance.
The first phase of the ARHC program will involve 10 rural hospitals, which will be selected based on need. An RV-based mobile clinical simulation lab will travel the state to train clinical and administrative staff on various programs designed to improve quality and patient experience. More hospitals and services will be added in future phases, with the goal of helping rural hospitals become self-sufficient and more financially and operationally stable while improving the health of Alabama’s rural residents.
Applications for the ARHC program will be accepted each spring, for participation that begins the following October (starting in October 2021). To learn more or to apply, please email Dawson Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.