Financing concerns affect providers in all health care settings but for rural providers it is especially difficult to secure the necessary financing. Small and solo providers in rural areas don’t have access to the capital that might otherwise come from the system partners or parent organizations of their urban counterparts. Since rural providers traditionally operate on low margins, they are less likely to have significant savings with which to fund a large investment. Finally, the lower volume of most rural providers means that the fixed costs of an investment will be spread over fewer cases, making it more difficult to recover costs and generate a positive return on the investment.
CalHIPSO offers the following resources to help make your EHR adoption process more affordable.
Rural Health Initiative Grant
Funding to select rural hospitals across the nation to receive the technology needed to safely store, transfer, and exchange critical patient information with other healthcare providers within the respected region.
Exploratory and Developmental Grant to Improve Health Care Quality through Health Information Technology (IT) (R21)
Funding to support short-term preparatory, pilot or feasibility studies that will inform larger scale real world health IT implementation and use or the conduct of more comprehensive health IT implementation research.
USDA Rural Development Community Facilities Loans and Grants
Community Facilities Programs provide loans and grants and loan guarantees for water and environmental projects, as well as community facilities projects.
Universal Service Administrative Company
The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) is an independent, not-for-profit corporation created in 1997 to collect universal service contributions from telecommunications carriers and administer universal support mechanisms (programs) designed to help communities across the country secure access to affordable telecommunications services. This site assists rural health care providers in understanding resources available to them.
Health Education and Learning Program – Webinar Series
Registration for playbacks of past webinars is free to anyone interested. Webinars are pre-approved for 1.5 hours of ACHE Qualified Education credit (To receive continuing education credits, participants must complete an online evaluation survey after the webinar).
National Opinion Research Center (NORC) Road Map for the Adoption of Health Information Technology in Rural Communities – PDF Document
The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP), which is a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS’) Health Resources and Services Administration, has a mission to support the needs of health care providers operating in rural areas and is committed to increasing the implementation of health information technology (IT) among this group. As part of an ongoing effort to promote awareness and knowledge of health IT, ORHP has commissioned this primer to assist rural providers that are contemplating health IT implementation. While providers at all levels of expertise and all stages of adoption should find useful information in this report, this document focuses on providers who are just beginning their investigation of using health IT.
The National Learning Consortium (NLC) Financial Planning Assesment – PDF Document
Use this tool to help you evaluate your financial readiness for major health information technology (HIT) investments. Use this tool after a first draft of the total cost of ownership (TCO) and return on investment (ROI) tool has been created by the chief financial officer and shared it with the board of directors and executive leadership.
The National Learning Consortium (NLC) Total Cost of Ownership and Return on Investment Worksheet – Excel 2012 Document
Use this spreadsheet to estimate the total cost of ownership (TCO) and return on investment (ROI) for a single application or group of HIT applications being considered for acquisition. Initially, estimates will provide a good idea of how much financing you may require. When actual costs become known, a better picture of your financing needs will emerge. Also use this tool to manage your project budget and to post actual benefits as you identify them each year to evaluate benefits realized.