People with complex care needs who live in rural communities face many of the same challenges experienced by individuals in urban areas, such as lack of transportation and food insecurity. However, rural communities are not just scaled-down cities. Despite facing similar challenges to patients living in urban areas, individuals with complex needs in rural areas often face additional hurdles caused by lack of infrastructure and geographic distances, making many high-touch complex care interventions difficult — if not impossible — to implement.
This brief, made possible through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, explores challenges associated with providing complex care in rural and frontier communities and outlines opportunities to ensure effective programs. Drawing from experts across the country, it summarizes strategies to improve complex care delivery in rural areas and provides examples of rural communities that are enhancing care delivery through workforce adaptations, technology innovations, tailored patient engagement tactics, and new payment models and funding streams.