The Promise and Challenge of Alternative Payment Models for Rural Providers

Since 2010, a reported 140 rural hospitals have closed their doors, including a record 19 hospitals in 2020 alone. While many rural providers have always faced precarious financial situations caused by low patient volume and a more vulnerable patient mix, the surge in rural hospital closures signals a growing problem that requires a reassessment of the federal payment policies that are key to financial viability.

Although the designations and associated reimbursement rates for rural hospitals have evolved over the years, these critical providers continue to face significant challenges in sustaining the necessary resources to stay open and provide equitable care to their communities. In a new webinar, Manatt Health and Geisinger will lead a panel of rural health care leaders discussing the opportunities that some federal value-based payment models, including the Pennsylvania Rural Health Model, have provided to rural health systems. The program will highlight lessons learned as well as opportunities and potential remedies for federal policy to address the limitations of value-based models. Key topics that will be covered include:

  • The critical role that rural health systems play in promoting health equity and why they are fundamental to the health care safety net
  • The financial and structural barriers that impede rural health care delivery—including geographic limitations, reimbursement challenges, transportation issues and workforce shortages—and how they exacerbate health disparities
  • The financial crisis that rural Americans and the health systems intended to serve them continue to face
  • A review of the alternative payment models that promote financial sustainability, empower rural hospitals to embrace population health initiatives, and preserve rural health access


  • Tom Morris, Associate Administrator for Rural Health Policy, Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Carrie Cochran-McClain, Chief Policy Officer, National Rural Health Association
  • Karen Murphy, Executive Vice President, Chief Innovation Officer, and Founding Director of the Steele Institute for Health Innovation at Geisinger
  • Janice Walters, Chief Operating Officer of Programs for the Rural Health Redesign Center
  • Meghan McNamara, Partner, Manatt Health
  • Kathleen Rubinger, Senior Manager, Manatt Health

Date and Time:

Tuesday, February 28
1:00 – 2:00 pm ET

If you would like to receive an audio transcript of this webinar due to accessibility issues, please email us at

This program does not constitute legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship. Views expressed by presenters are strictly their own and should not be construed to be the views of Manatt or attributed to Manatt.



pursuant to New York DR 2-101(f)

© 2024 Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP.

All rights reserved