Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program
The Arizona Center for Rural Health (AzCRH) at The University of Arizona (UArizona) Health Sciences Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health (MEZCOPH) is funded by the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) for the Arizona Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (AzSHIP).
AzSHIP currently includes 11 small rural hospitals (<50 beds) and Critical Access Hospitals (<25 beds, >35 mi from another facility, and operate a 24/7 emergency department). Funds ($12,000 per hospital) are used for fiscal and quality improvement and reform such as value-based purchasing, participating in accountable care organizations, and payment bundling.
» On April 22, 2020 HRSA awarded AzCRH new funding (up to $71,670 per hospital) for 16 eligible AzSHIP hospitals to prevent and respond to COVID. Funding can be used to:
- Ensure patient and hospital personnel safety to minimize COVID-19 exposure.
- Address emergent COVID-19 issues, including testing, lab, patient and community education.
- Strengthen hospital capacity and staffing levels by reinstating, reassigning providers, hiring new providers, increasing staff time to respond to COVID and continue hospital operations.
- Complete minor renovation to maximize isolation precautions, facilitate telehealth.
- Purchase equipment, including for telehealth, vehicles, triage tents, and mobile medical units.
These 16 eligible Arizona hospitals include for-profit, not-for-profit, and tribal-operated (P.L. 638 self-determination) organizations that provide short-term, general acute hospital and 24/7 emergency care for their rural communities. They play crucial roles in assuring ready access to quality health care, improving population health outcomes, and contributing to rural community economic health and development.