The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will award up to $20 million to entities in four states to improve health care in rural areas, the agency announced today.
The funding will be awarded through the Community Transformation Track under the Community Health Access and Rural Transformation (CHART) Model. The CHART Model is intended to address disparities in health equity by improving access to quality health care and the sustainability of the health care system in rural communities. These funds will help test whether providing upfront funding, an innovative value-based payment, and operational flexibility can maintain or improve care quality and lower costs.
More than 57 million people live in rural communities across the United States. Rural residents tend to be older with more complicated health needs than their urban counterparts. In addition, rural communities often face challenges with access to care, financial viability, and the lack of infrastructure investments in some rural areas can negatively impact people’s health. Within rural areas, Black, Latino, and other communities of color experience greater access barriers and disparities in health outcomes. Rural residents may also have limited access to high-speed internet, hindering their ability to leverage online health care information and to participate in remote or telehealth visits with their health care practitioners.
CMS is awarding up to $5 million in cooperative agreement funding to each of the following entities:
- University of Alabama Birmingham
- State of South Dakota Department of Social Services
- Texas Health and Human Services Commission
- Washington State Healthcare Authority
CMS is excited that these four award recipients combined represent approximately 300,000 Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries in their rural communities, including rural beneficiaries in Tribal communities. Additionally, each rural community will incorporate Medicaid participation with their respective state Medicaid agencies.