N.H. Asks Feds For More Flexibility To Create Rural Health Clinics

Nov 30, 2015

Cottage Hospital in Woodsville is one of New Hampshire's 14 federally-qualified rural health clinics.
Credit Cottage Hospital

The state is asking the federal government for more flexibility in establishing rural health clinics.

If approved by the feds, the policy will broaden what it means to be a rural health clinic in New Hampshire. The state has 14 federally-approved rural health clinics, which are located in areas with high poverty rates and not enough healthcare providers. These clinics receive more generous reimbursements from Medicaid and Medicare.

"The goal of the policy is just to provide another tool for health care agencies in rural areas for finding a way to sustain or increase access for patients," says Alisa Druzba with the Department of Health and Human Services' Rural Health and Primary Care Program.

Druzba says six existing clinics have expressed interest in the program, and just under 20 states have adopted the kind of flexibility New Hampshire is asking the federal government for.