RHCs and CAHs Participating in SSP: Characteristics of the Providers and Communities

Research center:
Lead researcher:
Research staff:
Project funded:
September 2023
Anticipated completion date:
August 2024

This project describes characteristics of Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) and Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (SSP), and the communities they serve. Comparisons will be made to RHCs and CAHs not participating in the SSP.

Descriptive analysis will be used to characterize RHCs and CAHs based on size (number of providers in RHCs, patient days in CAHs), system affiliation by CAHs, for RHCs whether they are independent or provider-based, population of county served, number of Medicaid beneficiaries in the county, and penetration of Medicare Advantage in the county. We will also adjust the count of participating RHCs by attributing multiple RHCs to single provider entitles (including CAHs) as, in effect, one RHC (e.g., there are six RHCs owned by a CAH in Illinois that participates in Accountable Care Organizations – per a session at recent state meeting). Characteristics measured as means and medians for all participating clinics and hospitals will be compared to characteristics of those not participating. A policy brief will describe the characteristics of CAHs and RHCs participating in the SSP, including the suggested adjustment to how we “count” the number of participating RHCs. A research paper will expand the analysis to include more analysis of the markets of participating CAHs and RHCs, and implications for reaching the CMS goal of 100 percent of beneficiaries served by providers participating in a value-based payment arrangement.