BISMARCK, N.D. – North Dakota and six other states will participate in a new collaborative to identify and deploy strategies to improve access to high-quality, cost-effective health care in rural America, the National Governors Association (NGA) announced this week.
The NGA selected seven states for the Rural Health Learning Collaborative: Kentucky, Michigan, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota and Pennsylvania. States will learn about innovative and evidence-based policies, programs and practices, while exploring and developing strategies for the underlying issues affecting access to care in their communities.
“Rural states face unique challenges and barriers to health care access and delivery of services. We’re excited about the opportunity to work with other states on ways to close the gap in health status between rural and urban areas,” Gov. Doug Burgum said. “We also continue to have frequent discussions with fellow governors about how to reform the current health care system to deliver personalized, patient-centered care in a cost-effective manner.”
The North Dakota Department of Health filed the application to participate in the collaborative, focusing on new ways to meet health care needs in rural areas via technology and networking, including expanding access to behavioral health providers through telemedicine. Strategies that may be implemented include an increased use of telemedicine; increased funding options for youth and adult services; and increased mental health prevention services, to name a few.
“We are honored to have been chosen to take part in this collaboration,” said Mylynn Tufte, State Health Officer. “Gov. Burgum has requested all state agencies be innovative and find solutions to improve the health of communities, and this is an incredible opportunity to better understand the use of telemedicine for behavioral health access.”
For more information, go to www.nga.org/cms/center/health.