The viability of many frontier health care providers is not secure. Therefore, access to healthcare by frontier county residents is insufficient. IMPAQ and its subcontractors assisted CMS in its exploration of new models for the delivery of health services to improve access to care and to better integrate the delivery of acute care, extended care, and other essential health care services in frontier counties. The initial phase of this contract included coordination with the HRSA grantee, Montana Health Education and Research Foundation MHERF, to identify problems that contribute to the low level of health care in frontier counties. This coordination involved attendance at the MHERF kick-off meeting, conference call attendance of the regular meeting with hospital CEOs, and reviewing of documents produced by this group.
Also, as a part problem assessment task , the IMPAQ team produced six memos describing the status of frontier critical access hospitals from data gathered through literature reviews, site visits, and interviews of Medicare and have analyzed Standard Analytical File claims data to determine the service areas and transfer patterns of these facilities. After identifying the key problems, IMPAQ identified solutions to the problem and after CMS review, designed and implemented a demonstration based upon the solutions selected by CMS. During the implementation of the demonstration, IMPAQ assisted CMS with the solicitation efforts, the review of applicants, and the estimation of the waiver costs and will provide implementation technical assistance to the demonstration participants.