Rural residents’ health is challenged by high health care costs, chronic diseases, and policy decisions affecting rural health care. This single-case, embedded design study, guided by community-based participatory research principles and using mixed methods, describes outcomes of implementation of a community care team (CCT) and care coordination to improve outcomes of patients living in a frontier community. Seventeen organizations and 165 adults identified as potential care coordination candidates constituted the target populations. Following CCT development, collaboration and cohesion increased among organizations. Patients who participated in care coordination reported similar physical and lower emotional health quality of life than national counterparts; emergency department use decreased following care coordination. Key components identified as successful in urban settings seem applicable in rural settings, with emphasis on the key role of team facilitators; need for intense care coordination for people with complex health needs, especially behavioral health needs; and access to specialty care through technology.


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pp. 91-115
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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