In this video webinar, Dr. John Findley, ACO Medical Director for Caravan Health, discusses the importance of value-based care and physician recruitment for the future of rural health care. The challenges of rural health care are well-documented – hospitals are closing at an alarming rate, posing a threat to primary and specialty care access. Many new physicians are choosing not to practice in rural America, due to professional isolation and the lack of a familiar team environment in which they trained. With one in five Americans living in a rural community, these issues are not going away and finding solutions is critical.
Accountable care organizations can make a real difference in delivering health care in a rural setting. An ACO relies on strong, patient-centered primary care as the basis of care transformation. Many primary care activities can be led by nurses, freeing up physician time while maintaining care quality and producing strong outcomes. For example, many ACOs implement a nurse-led chronic care management program for patients with complex illnesses. By actively engaging the greatest risk patients, ACO practices can “shrink the goal” and create achievable outcomes. Chronic care management addresses a high and rising need to manage conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. This is acutely important, particularly in rural communities where physician time is precious.
Addressing the challenges in rural health care can take a tremendous amount of time and effort. Value-based care, including fundamentals like chronic care management, can be one of the keys to a brighter future for rural health.

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