Fulton County Medical Center Part of Rural Health Model, Topper, Ward Announce

HARRISBURG – Fulton County Medical Center has opted to join the Pennsylvania Rural Health Model, a decision Rep. Jesse Topper (R-Bedford/Franklin/Fulton) and Sen. Judy Ward (R-Blair/Cumberland/Franklin/Fulton/Huntingdon) praised.

“The Fulton County Medical Center provides a very important service in a very rural area,” Topper said. “The step medical center officials took will benefit residents in need of health care and the community for years to come. I applaud their actions.”

The newly created Rural Health Model, which is the first of its kind in the country, aims to help rural hospitals stay open and provide access to health care and jobs.  It is an alternative payment model, transitioning hospitals from a fee-for-service model to a global budget payment. Reimbursement comes from multiple payers, including private and public insurers. Instead of hospitals getting paid when someone is admitted, they will receive a predictable amount of money at a specified time to provide services in the community.

A total of 67 hospitals are eligible for participation in the model based on the definition of a rural hospital developed by the Center for Rural Pennsylvania. Fulton County Medical Center is among the second wave of participants in the program.

“It is such good news that Fulton County Medical Center will be part of the Rural Health Model. This program is really a lifeline effort for the long-term health of crucial medical facilities in our area and similar areas of our state. Addressing the problems facing rural hospitals and health care facilities is a matter of urgency because, if these facilities close, there are no other options for medical care.” said Ward.