North Dakota Rural Health Clinic Network launches statewide

A new network for certified Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) throughout the state of North Dakota has been developed through the Center for Rural Health (CRH) at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences. The North Dakota Rural Health Clinic Network will make a difference for healthcare in the state by bridging knowledge and expertise across health systems.

“The Rural Health Clinic Network will be an opportunity for RHCs to share information about best practices, Medicare conditions for certification, and any other common themes among ND RHCs,” said Anna Walter, project coordinator for the Network.

The Rural Health Clinic Network was created this summer to provide a platform for North Dakota RHCs. Participants will receive support for conditions for certification, quality and performance improvement, and improved communication and collaboration among healthcare providers to best serve the rural health organizations and their communities.

There are 54 RHCs in North Dakota. The model for the Network is based on the Critical Access Hospital (CAH) Quality Network that has been in existence at the CRH since 2007. The CAH Quality Network has been wildly successful and has all 36 CAHs in the state as members.

Funding is provided by the North Dakota Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) Program and the North Dakota State Office of Rural Health program. Flex is a federally funded Health Resources and Services Administration grant that provides for the creation of rural health networks, promotes regionalization of rural health services, and improves access to hospital and other services for rural residents. SORH is a federal-state partnership that helps rural communities build their healthcare services through collaborations and initiatives with a wide range of partners across the state, with funding provided through the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy.