Ensuring Access to Care in Vulnerable Communities

Millions of Americans living in vulnerable rural and urban communities depend upon their hospital as an important, and often only, source of care. However, these communities and their hospitals face many challenges. As the hospital field engages in its most significant transformation to date, many are fighting to survive – potentially leaving their communities at risk for losing access to health care services. Recognizing these challenges and the need for new integrated and comprehensive health care delivery and payment strategies, the AHA Board of Trustees created the Task Force on Ensuring Access in Vulnerable Communities. Comprised of 29 hospital and health system leaders and state hospital association CEOs, the task force held meetings, heard from policymakers and conducted field hearings to speak with hospital and community leaders during a 15-month period.  

The Task Force work is ongoing. This webpage is just one of the many ways AHA will keep you connected to the latest developments and resources as we address the critical issue of ensuring access to health care services.

Task Force Report

The taskforce report outlines nine emerging strategies that can help preserve access to health care services in vulnerable communities. These strategies will not apply to or work for every community and each community has the option to choose one or more that are compatible with its needs.

Global Budgets

Inpatient/Outpatient Transformation Strategy

Social Determinants of Health Strategy

Virtual Care Strategies

Emergency Medical Center Strategy

Indian Health Services Strategy

Urgent Care Center Strategy

Community Conversations

Frontier Health System

Other Resources 



Task Force Report Executive Summary

Community Conversations Toolkit

Discussion Guide for Boards and Hospital Leadership

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