Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program

The Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) Program is a Federal program that supports the creation of rural health networks, promotes regionalization of rural health services, and improves access to hospitals and other health services for rural residents. 

The State Office of Rural Health, part of the Bureau of Community Health Systems in the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), is the recipient of the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) program in Kansas. The Office of Rural Health uses Flex resources for performance management activities, training programs, needs assessments, and network building.

Program Areas

Flex funding encourages the development of cooperative systems of care in rural areas, joining together critical access hospitals (CAH), emergency medical service (EMS) providers, clinics, and health practitioners to increase efficiencies and quality of care. The Flex Program requires states to develop rural health plans and funds their efforts to implement community-level outreach, and includes support for the following five program areas:

  • CAH Quality Improvement (required)
  • CAH Operational and Financial Improvement (required)
  • CAH Population Health Improvement (optional)
  • Rural Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Improvement (optional)
  • Rural Innovative Model Development (optional)
  • CAH Designation (required if requested)
  1. Quality Improvement
  2. Critical Access Hospitals
  3. Health Options Project
  4. History of Flex

Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project (MBQIP)

The Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project (MBQIP) is a quality improvement activity under the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) grant program of the Health Resources and Services Administration's Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP).

The goal of MBQIP is to improve the quality of care provided in critical access hospitals (CAHs), by increasing quality data reporting by CAHs and then driving quality improvement activities based on the data. This project provides an opportunity for individual hospitals to look at their own data, measure their outcomes against other CAHs and partner with other hospitals in the state around quality improvement initiatives to improve outcomes and provide the highest quality care to each and every one of their patients.

KDHE has contracted with KRHOP to administer this program. KRHOP offers technical support, information, networking opportunities, funding and other resources to Critical Access Hospitals and other rural providers.

MBQIP Resources & Information for Hospitals