Flex Program

Flex Program

About the Flex Program

The Rural Hospital Flexibility Grant Program, also known as the Flex Program, is a federally funded grant program, established by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. The Flex program assists Critical Access Hospitals in four core areas: (1) Quality Improvement, (2) Financial and Operational Improvement, (3) Health System Development and Community Engagement, (4) CAH Designation. More information from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) about the Flex program is available.

The Oregon Flex program currently includes:

Support for Quality Improvement

Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Program (MBQIP) Technical Assistance

The Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Program is the primary source for demonstrating the quality of care provided by CAHs on a national level. All of Oregon’s CAHs 25 participate in MBQIP. ORH, in partnership with the Oregon Rural Healthcare Quality Network (ORHQN), offers technical assistance in reporting and QI for MBQIP measures.

Quality Improvement in Partnership with OAHHS

ORH, in partnership with the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Services (OAHHS), sponsors Partnership for Patients (PfP). Sixteen CAHs participated in the 2013-2014 Partnership for Patients cohort and eight were successful in meeting national harm reduction targets. The 2014-2015 quality improvement activities will focus on patient family engagement.

TeamSTEPPS Training

ORH, in partnership with ORHQN, supports the TeamSTEPPS training program to improve patient safety.

Report on Oregon CAH Quality

View the Oregon CAH Quality Report.

Support for Financial and Operational Improvement

Board and Leadership Development

Flex supports board and leadership training for CAHs. For more information on on-site consultations and workshops, please contact Meredith Guardino | | 503-494-4450 | toll-free 866-674-4376.

The Rural Health Reform Initiative

ORH supports OAHHS’ Rural Health Reform Initiative to preserve access to local health care services for rural Oregonians. The RHRI focuses on sustainable state and federal funding for type A/B hospitals and health systems through new models of care delivery and reimbursement.

Support for Health System Development and Community Engagement

Community Health Improvement Partnership (CHIP)

The Community Health Improvement Partnership (CHIP) is a community development process that engages rural communities to make local decisions. CHIP develops ways for rural communities to improve local health care systems and improve health status of area residents, as the most current CHIP in Lake County demonstrates. For past CHIP programs, please see:

Community Engagement Grants

The Oregon Office of Rural Health awarded $117,000 in Community Engagement Grants during FY 2014-15 to five Critical Access Hospital communities across Oregon. Using Health Resources and Services Administration Rural Hospital Flexibility Grant funds, these grants enabled hospitals and their communities to implement sustainable programs in response to challenges identified by community needs assessments ranging from nutrition to mental health.

EMS Training and Continuing Education

EMS/Trauma Webinars is a partnership between the Oregon Office of Rural Health and the Oregon EMS and Trauma Systems. Presentations will last approximately one hour and will be recorded for those who cannot attend the live presentation. Continuing Education (CE) credits will be available for those who are able to attend the live presentation. ORH also sponsors the Spring EMS Forum will be held May 28-29, 2015 in Hood River. More information will available closer to the date, including scholarship guidelines for rural attendees.


For any questions on the Flex program or the current grant year activities, please contact: Meredith Guardino | | 503-494-4450 | toll-free 866-674-4376.