Research / Rural Development

Webinar | September 2020

Alternative Payment Models in Healthcare

Roger Moore

To slow the growth of healthcare costs and improve outcomes for patients, many stakeholders are experimenting with alternative payment models (APMs), a relatively new approach to paying for medical care that financially rewards providers for delivering high-quality, cost-effective care. In contrast to traditional fee-for-service payment methods, which reimburse providers for each service or procedure performed, APMs are designed to incentivize a value-based approach that emphasizes quality over quantity.

This program features a presentation about the Pennsylvania Rural Health Model, an initiative designed to address the financial challenges faced by rural hospitals. Under the Rural Health Model, providers are reimbursed via global budget payments – an APM that offers a pre-determined amount, for a fixed period of time, for a specific patient population – to deliver care that aligns with community health needs. Pennsylvania is the first state in the country to design and implement an APM that is exclusively focused on rural hospitals.


Gary Zegiestowsky, Executive Director, Rural Health Redesign Center Authority, Pennsylvania
Janice Walters, Chief Operating Officer Consultant, Rural Health Redesign Authority, Pennsylvania

Agriculture & Rural Development Committee Virtual Program
Webinar | July 2020

Implications of Recent Trade Agreements for the American Farm
Addressing Mental Health in Rural Communities

Nick Bowman

Agriculture & Rural Development Committee Virtual Program

Implications of Recent Trade Agreements for the American Farm

Many in the agriculture sector have heralded the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement and the Phase-One Agreement with China as unparalleled opportunities to provide their products to growing consumer bases and to promote free and fair trade. This program provides a briefing on these two important trade deals and explores how they could impact the U.S. agricultural sector, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Max Moncaster, Director of Public Policy, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, Virginia

Addressing Mental Health in Rural Communities

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicides among farmers are 1.5 times higher than the national average. Experts warn that rising farm debt, limited access to mental health resources, harvests impacted by extreme weather, and the lingering impacts of a long-running trade war with China—and now the COVID-19 pandemic—all are contributing to significant stress among those in the agriculture community. This program examines initiatives to increase awareness of rural stress issues and warning signs; identify ways to communicate and cope with stress; and access local resources and support.


Keith Mueller, Head of the Department of Health Management and Policy, University of Iowa

SLC Regional Resource | April 2020

Missed Connections: State Funding Mechanisms for Broadband Expansion

Anne Roberts Brody

High-speed internet access, commonly referred to as “broadband,” is provided by a series of technologies — cable, telephone wire, fiber, satellite, mobile and fixed wireless — that allow users to send and receive data at speeds necessary to support a wide range of applications for voice communications, entertainment, telemedicine, distance education, telework, e-commerce, civic engagement, public safety and energy conservation, to name a few. Access to reliable, high-speed internet is vital to almost every aspect of the nation’s economy, and communities with broadband access enjoy a wide array of benefits. Often compared to the electrification of rural America, the increasing efforts to expand broadband access in rural areas have gained momentum across the South.

While the rate of broadband adoption continues to grow, largely in urban and suburban areas, numerous studies and surveys indicate that broadband deployment in rural areas continues to lag. Rural areas also tend to have fewer broadband providers, leading to limited options and competition for customers, as well as slower connection speeds. Meanwhile, nearly one quarter of rural adults say that access to high-speed internet is a major problem in their local community.

State laws and policies can facilitate and encourage broadband expansion in underserved rural areas. Building upon the 2016 SLC Regional Resource, The Role of State and Local Government in Broadband Deployment, this SLC Regional Resource explores funding mechanisms implemented by Southern states to encourage broadband expansion in rural, unserved and underserved areas.

Senator Casey Murdock

Casey Murdock


Vice Chair
Senator Tyler Harper

Tyler Harper


Past Chair

Daniel B. Verdin III

South Carolina

Nick Bowman

Nick Bowman
Policy Analyst

The SLC Agriculture & Rural Development Committee's agenda focuses on issues critical to the future of farming and farm communities, such as the distribution of water and other natural resources – critical for the agricultural sector – and new opportunities for the export of agricultural commodities to international markets. Several reports prepared by the committee have measured the economic impact of the agricultural sector, often considered the "engine of the economy" in most Southern states. The committee's work also centers on the continued development of rural communities, highlighting access to healthcare and transportation; integration with the global economy; the many differences and surprising similarities between rural and urban America; and how to bridge the infrastructure challenges that divide these communities.

More SLC Research into Rural Development

Other | December 2019

Issues to Watch - 2020

Policy Analysis | November 2019

Federal Analysis: Rural Health Agenda

SLC Regional Resource | November 2019

Rural Hospitals: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Policy Analysis | April 2019

Federal Legislation on Rural Hospitals

Other | January 2019

Issues to Watch - 2019

SLC Special Series Report | May 2017

Blown Away: Wind Energy in Southern States (Part 1)

Policy Analysis | February 2014

The "Black Belt"

SLC Regional Resource | January 2009

Capital Access in the Black Belt

SLC Regional Resource | January 2006

State Rural Initiatives: Where the Money Comes From

SLC Regional Resource | July 2005

Rural Centers in the South

SLC Regional Resource | December 2003

A Rural Policy for the 21st Century