A description of the Southern Rural Access Program's practice management strategies.


CONTEXT Many state, federal, and foundation resources have been invested in improving the recruitment of primary care providers to rural communities. The Southern Rural Access Program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has provided varying levels of support to several southern states to assist with retention of those providers. PURPOSE This study describes the strategies that 6 states used to develop and implement practice management technical assistance services for rural health care providers. METHODS Practice managers in each of the 6 states were surveyed regarding how their service was structured, what types of entities were eligible, and the nature of the technical assistance offered. Information regarding what types of entities used the service, characteristics of the practices, and the number of practices served was also collected. FINDINGS The survey results showed that almost half (46%) of all practices assisted were private stand-alone physician practices, with overall practice assessments being the practice management service rendered most often. Although the type of organisational home for the technical assistance services varied by state, overall states employed an average of 1.67 full-time equivalent practice managers (0.81 full-time equivalent supported by RWJF) and received an average of $136,055 per state from the RWJF for the 2-year period beginning April 2002 for practice management support. CONCLUSIONS Overall, the study found that the type of organizational home did not appear to affect the type of technical assistance services offered. However, the type of orgnizational home did appear to affect what types of providers used the service, with trade associations assisting their members or constituents at least half the time.

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@article{Adams2003ADO, title={A description of the Southern Rural Access Program's practice management strategies.}, author={Graham Adams and Curtis E Holloman and J. Michael Nye and Rita C Salain and Kelli G Glenn and Sally Harrison and Mary M. Patterson}, journal={The Journal of rural health : official journal of the American Rural Health Association and the National Rural Health Care Association}, year={2003}, volume={19 Suppl}, pages={314-20} }