Developing a Sentinel Cohort of Rural Health Clinics for Use in Developing Relevant Quality Measures and Monitoring Program Performance

Research center:
Lead researcher:
Project funded:
September 2012
Project completed:
August 2014
RHC experts unanimously acknowledge the challenges posed by the paucity of data on RHC operations and performance. Although national secondary data sets, Medicare cost reports, and surveys of RHCs are valuable sources of information on RHC operations and performance; they all have limitations that restrict their value in understanding and monitoring the RHC Program's performance.

To supplement the limited existing data on the RHC Program and to gain a better understanding of the ongoing operational, clinical, and quality activities and needs of RHCs, this project will develop a Sentinel Cohort of RHCs in 10 to 13 states to provide "on the ground" data on the challenges and issues facing RHCs; obtain input into the development of RHC quality and operational performance measures; and serve as pilot sites to test and refine these measures.

During Year One, we will work with key stakeholders in State Offices of Rural Health (SORHs), state RHC associations, and the National Association of Rural Health Clinics (NARHC) to develop a project steering committee and a quality expert panel to help the guide the project, and to recruit approximately 10 RHCs from each selected state to participate in the project. We will work with the panel and the RHCs to identify a core set of RHC quality indicators.

During Year Two, we will work with the RHCs to collect, report, and evaluate the measures.

There may be products related to this project; please contact the lead researcher for more information.