COVID-19, rural, Critical Access Hospitals, State Flex Program, strategies, public heatlh
This brief reports on promising State Flex Program (SFP) strategies to support Critical Access Hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic. SFPs adapted existing initiatives and implemented new activities to address the emerging needs of CAHs during the pandemic. With approval from the Federal Office of Rural Health, the SFPs redirected funds and activities to address the evolving COVID-19 needs of CAHs while maintaining fidelity to Flex Program goals. Based on qualitative interviews with seven SFPs, the authors, members of the Flex Monitoring Team, discuss initiatives such as resiliency training for frontline staff; packaging and dissemination of COVID-19 information; public health messaging; infection prevention and pharmacy consultations; and financial technical assistance and programs. The authors also highlight ongoing COVID-19 needs of CAHs as described by the SFPs, which include increased financial vulnerability, rural workforce shortages, and support for telehealth.
FMI: Celia Jewell, firstname.lastname@example.org
hospitals, public health, rural, COVID-19
Federal Office of Rural Health Policy
Jewell, C., Kahn-Troster, S., & Gale, J. (2021). Promising Flex Program Initiatives to Support Critical Access Hospitals during the COVID-19 Pandemic (Policy Brief #59). University of Southern Maine, Flex Monitoring Team.