Rural Hospital Flexibility Program

The Massachusetts (MA) Rural Hospital Flexibility Program (Flex) is managed by the MDPH State Office of Rural Health and funded by a grant from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

The Flex Program maintains strong partnerships with small community hospitals located in rural Massachusetts communities, as well as with the Massachusetts Hospital Association, Healthcentric Advisors – the Quality Innovation Network and Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) for Massachusetts, and multiple other state programs and external partners.

The primary aim of the Flex Program is to support improved operational and financial stability and viability of Massachusetts’ Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs), and several other small community hospitals, in order to improve access to quality health services across a coordinated continuum of care in rural communities.    

The Flex Program has been an important mechanism for improving the rural health infrastructure in our state by strengthening small rural hospitals and helping them to operate as the hub of a more collaborative and integrated health delivery system.

An important outcome of the Flex Program has been the development of supportive statewide rural health networks through which we provide resources and develop and implement projects. 

As our program has matured, our projects focus on rural healthcare financial, operational, and clinical quality improvement along with supporting rural healthcare providers with the implementation of health care reform’s Triple Aim. This includes transformation to a more responsive and value based healthcare delivery system, developing new innovative models of community based care and population health, and strengthening emergency medical services.



This information is provided by the State Office of Rural Health within the Department of Public Health.