Rural Tools and Resources

A curated library of tools, funds and other resources from AHA and others available to rural providers.


NEW: COVID-19-Related Resources for Rural Hospitals

Rural Hospital Interventions For COVID -19 - Resources and References

External Tools and Resources

Rural Funding & Opportunities
Summaries of funding programs are provided by RHIhub for your convenience. Please contact the funder directly for the most complete and current information. 

HRSA, Federal Office of Rural Health Rural Hospital Program Funding
Rural hospitals represent more than half of all hospitals in the United States. FORHP provides technical assistance and support to states to help address the unique needs of rural hospitals through the following programs. Additional funding resources may be found at  

Rural Philanthropy Toolkit
The Rural Philanthropy Toolkit provides a wealth of information about philanthropy and how foundations and rural communities are working together to build capacity, support economic development, increase access to healthcare, and provide much needed wrap-around services. This toolkit compiles emerging practices and resources to support rural communities seeking to build relationships with philanthropies across the United States.

TRACIE Report on COVID-19 Challenges to Rural Health
The Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE) is a site created by the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. In this report, TRACIE explains and provides data for pandemic challenges specific to rural populations and health care facilities. . The challenges are grouped into two main categories: those specific to healthcare facilities, and those related to at-risk populations who reside in rural areas. Considerations for meeting each challenge are also provided. More information and resources for emergency preparation and response can be found on the TRACIE website.

MHA COVID-19 Rural Hospital Compendium
Missouri Hospital Association published a COVID-19 Rural Hospital Compendium to identify successes, and establish current and future advocacy and policy priorities, to help rural hospitals navigate the crisis. MHA’s efforts in these areas and others are ongoing, including continued engagement with Gov. Parson and members of Missouri’s congressional delegation. Their support has been essential to our collective efforts to manage the state’s health care and hospital resources.

COVID-19 Workforce Virtual Toolkit
On April 22, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response (ASPR) released a new toolkit to help state and local healthcare decision makers maximize workforce flexibilities when confronting COVID-19 in their communities. The toolkit contains a number of “Resource Collections” on topics that have been of particular interest to rural providers including scope of practice expansions, licensure, EMS resources, and volunteer workforce needs, among other workforce and training resources.

340B Program: A Prescription for Success
Gain insight about ways to maintain compliance while optimizing the 340B Drug Pricing Program. Understand possible impact of potential legislative and CMS changes to the 340B Drug Pricing Program. This webinar presented the 340B Drug Pricing Program Hospital Guide, and discusses eligibility, compliance, billing and benefits of participation in the 340B Drug Pricing Program. Claire E. Johnson, RHIA, Senior Managing Consultant, BKD, LLP presents key strategies for considering the 340B Program.

Social Determinants of Health in Rural Communities Toolkit
This toolkit from RHIhub assembles resources and model programs that support rural organizations in implementing programs to address social determinants of health in their communities. Learn how to define, understand, and address social determinants of health and overcome barriers specific to rural areas. Created in collaboration with the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis. It may be found at

Care Management Medicare Reimbursement Strategies for Rural Providers
CMS has established Medicare billing codes for services intended to keep beneficiaries healthy and better coordinate services to support beneficiaries at home. Each of the guides below provides a brief overview and links to key documents to help rural healthcare professionals, practices, and hospitals understand the billing code, consider the benefit to their patients and organization, and begin billing for the code. These guides include:

More information on care management can also be found on the Care Management section of the CMS website.  

Best Practice Concepts in Revenue Cycle Management Guide
This guide provides rural hospital executive and management teams with generally accepted best practice concepts in revenue cycle management so that they may consider opportunities for performance improvement within their own hospitals and individual departments. It is also designed to assist State Offices of Rural Health directors and Flex Program coordinators in gaining a better understanding of the revenue cycle best practices so that they may develop educational trainings to further assist rural hospitals with performance improvement. National Rural Health Resource Center (The Center), BKD LLP, October 2019

Rural Hospital Toolkit for Transitioning to Value-based Systems
This toolkit shares best practices for improving financial, operational and quality performance that position rural hospitals and networks for the future. The Toolkit outlines strategies for transitioning to value-based payment and population health. The Center researched and chose only resources, tools and webinars from industry leaders to include. The Toolkit is meant to be a “one-stop shop” for the best health care has to offer to assist organizations to improve performance. Join us for this webinar to learn more about the Toolkit and harvest the resources for your organization’s use.

The Community Health Assessment Toolkit
This is a web-based tool that offers a nine-step pathway to guide and support a robust, community-engaged health assessment process. Newly revised to better address the full cycle from assessment through implementation, this toolkit provides strategies for each step of the process and a wealth of resources, including The Guide to Community Preventive Services and other sources of evidence-based interventions. This is a product of the Association for Community Health Improvement and may be found here.

The Rural Community Health Gateway
Resources to assist you at every stage of program implementation, from finding an approach, to securing funding, to planning for long-term sustainability. It is a resource to assist you at every stage of program implementation, from finding an approach, to securing funding, to planning for long-term sustainability. The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) supports a range of programs and tools to help rural communities improve the health of their residents. This website highlights a number of these resources

Rural Suicide Prevention Toolkit
The toolkit compiles evidence-based and promising models and resources to support organizations implementing suicide prevention programs in rural communities across the United States. The modules in the toolkit contain resources and information focused on developing, implementing, evaluating, and sustaining rural suicide prevention programs. 

Integrating Behavioral Health Toolkits
This set of 4 toolkits from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) aims to assist organizations and providers with the integration of behavioral health care into their settings. The toolkits include interactive resources, guides and assessments such as tools exploring the business case, organizational assessments and partnership checklists. Visit the SAMHSA website here.

The Rural Opportunity Map
A unique collection of data and tools, the Rural Opportunity Map uses data sets on broadband infrastructure, education attainment, young companies, and other local assets. A map section for local leaders is designed to help them discover and learn from peer communities. Developing sections help decode the many definitions of rural across federal entities, help investors find options in rural Opportunity Zones, and track trends in rural health care.  

Economic Impact Analysis Tool
The EIA Tool tracks your program dollars as they flow through the local community, adding up jobs created, spending supporting local business and taxes, new or expanded healthcare services and their impact on the well-being of the population. Essentially the tool translates project-specific impacts into community-wide effects.

Evidence-Based Toolkits for Rural Community Health
Twenty-one step-by-step guides to help you build effective community health. Resources and examples are drawn from evidence-based and promising programs. By learning from programs that are known to be effective, you can make the best use of limited funding and resources. 

Rural Community Ambulance Agency Transformation Toolkit
The Rural Community Ambulance Agency Transformation Readiness Assessment and associated resources aim to help ambulance agency leaders in rural America assess the state of their agency's readiness in core competency areas. This assessment follows the Critical Access Hospital (CAH) Blueprint for Performance Excellence, adapted specifically for rural ambulance agencies, from the Baldridge Excellence Framework for Health Care. It provides resources and tools to assist rural ambulance agency leaders to succeed in moving from volume to value in their agency's culture and operations. 

Emergency Medical Services Toolkit
This EMS Toolkit is a set of resources developed for rural Emergency Medical Services (EMS) organizations, which are often run by volunteers. The toolkit addresses common issues that these important community entities face to keep their organizations staffed, funded and running smoothly. 

“Urgent Matters” Toolkit
The kit is a collection of strategies and tools designed to target specific issues facing hospital emergency departments. This toolkit has been developed by hospitals across the country in conjunction with Urgent Matters. Our goal is to continue to grow and expand the toolkit and make these resources available to the public. For more information or to submit at tool please contact Urgent Matters at

Increasing Access to Transportation in Rural Communities: The Rural Transportation Toolkit
Access to transportation is an enduring challenge in many rural communities. As part of the Rural Health Outreach Tracking and Evaluation project, the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) developed the Rural Transportation Toolkit to identify and disseminate promising programs and resources that can increase access to transportation for people living in rural communities. Find the toolkit at

National Rural Health Resource Center
Strike the motherload of toolkit references at the National Rural Health Resource Center by searching toolkit

The National Rural Health Resource Center's Resource Library features webinars, presentations, articles and toolkits developed by trusted industry leaders to guide and support rural health stakeholders. Visit a portal to see resources related to a topic, learn from success stories in our hospital and network spotlights or use the search bar on this site to search the entire library. The site is funded by HRSA Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. It is located here

Community Care Coordination and Chronic Care Management Hospital Best Practices and Recommended Strategies
The tools and resources help leaders with community health planning and guide hospitals with developing and implementing Patient-Center Medical Home (PCMH) and other community care coordination models, as well as chronic care management services.


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