Education event

Rural Hospital Financial Readiness: Strategies and Innovations
Rural Health Care Symposium

Register now
May 14, 2019
Hyatt Regency, Sacramento, CA


Rural hospitals must continually balance the needs of their communities against the financial pressures that impact day-to-day operations. For small, critical access and rural hospitals, operational stability is challenging to maintain.

Today, community hospitals are exploring innovative models that create financial stability and predictability. Implementing new strategies can create the breathing room needed to reshape operations and be more proactive in meeting community needs.

This one-day executive level program will focus on strategies and innovation ― providing you with the necessary information to consider as you explore new opportunities and fresh approaches. Make plans today to attend and be sure to invite your leadership teams and trustees to this event.

Critical Access Hospital Scholarships

Do you work for a critical access hospital? If so, tuition funding is available through the CAH Flex Grant. Check the CAH Scholarships tab for more information.

Who Should Attend?

Chief executive officers, administrators, chief operating officers, chief financial officers, nurse leaders and trustees of rural hospitals would all benefit.


Monday, May 13, 2019

5:00 – 6:30 p.m. | Welcome Reception – Hyatt Regency
Arrive the evening before and take the opportunity to relax and network with colleagues while enjoying appetizers and beverages.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

7:00 – 8:30 a.m. | Check-in/Registration

8:30 – 8:45 a.m. | Opening and Welcome
Kevin Flanigan, MD, MBA, Chief Executive Officer, Northern Inyo Hospital and Chair, Rural Hospital Advisory Board; Peggy Broussard Wheeler, Vice President, Rural Health & Governance, California Hospital Association

8:45– 10:00 a.m. | Keynote Session 
Financial Sustainability – Creating a Revenue Strategy
Eric Shell, MBA, CPA, Principal, Stroudwater Associates
As Medicare margins continue to decline across the country, hospitals serving rural communities are increasingly challenged to maintain financial performance. Current strategies being adopted by these hospitals include reducing expenses, increasing market share for services currently provided, offering new services, and evaluating and adopting alternative payment systems. This session will discuss industry-wide trends and different opportunities to stabilize your hospital’s financial performance as the industry transitions from volume to value.

10:15 – 11:15 a.m.  | General Session    
Global Budgeting – An Innovative Financial Model
Anne McLeod, Senior Vice President, Health  Innovation, California Hospital Association
Hospitals serving rural communities often lack resources to support efforts that keep people healthy. A significant contributing factor is the continued dependence on reimbursement methods that pay for the number of services provided. Global budgeting is an encouraging innovation that departs from fee-for-service payments by assuring that a hospital receives predictable funding throughout the year. Learn how this model operates and why CHA is looking at it.

11:15 a.m. —  12:15 p.m. | General Session
Financial Opportunities for California Hospitals

Patrick Redmon, Ph.D., Director, Berkeley Research Group, LLC
California’s demographic and geographic diversity creates many opportunities to explore alternative financing models. Hear about the findings from recent financial modeling led by CHA, including the impact of five and ten -year projections under a global budgeting payment. As you learn about alternative financing concepts, you will also gain knowledge about how you can improve your hospital’s financial viability, preserve health care in rural and underserved communities, and identify which services and populations can be covered.

12:15 – 1:15 p.m. | Hosted Luncheon

1:15 – 2:15 p.m. | General Session
Developing a Path to Implementation

Michael Stitcher, Clinical Economics Director, Berkeley Research Group, LLC
Understanding the opportunities under a global budget payment mechanism is important, but properly designing the implementation is key to its success. Learn what metrics may be required and what the reporting expectations would be in this new payment model. Learn about hospital-specific transformation plans that help provide guidance around structuring the necessary home and community supports to achieve population health goals. Hear how other states have prepared for and implemented alternative funding models and what California can learn from those early adopters.

2:15 – 3:15 p.m. | General Session 
Social Determinants and Community Integration

Sandy Atkins, Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, Partners in Care Foundation
Rural hospital have opportunities for innovation, including financing care delivery, making services more accessible, and addressing the social determinants affecting the rural population. This session focuses on those opportunities where providers and community organizers can work together to transform their health care delivery system to better serve their population.

3:30 – 4:30 p.m. | Panel Session
Fireside Chat with Peggy

After hearing from each presenter you may have new questions about how each topic relates to one another. Here’s your chance to have all speakers on one stage answering questions from Peggy and the audience.


Sandy Atkins
Vice President, Strategic Initiatives
Partners in Care Foundation

Ms. Atkins has worked at Partners for over 11 years. She is the key contact for Partners’ nationally-recognized HomeMeds℠ program, and works closely with Partners’ CEO, June Simmons, to provide strategic guidance to the organization. Prior to joining Partners, Sandy was Program Director of USC’s Center for Long-Term Care Integration.

Kevin Flanigan, MD, MBA
Chief Executive Officer, Northern Inyo Hospital and
Chair, Rural Hospital Advisory Board

Anne McLeod
Senior Vice President, Policy Innovation
California Hospital Association

As Senior Vice President for Health Policy and Innovation, Ms. McLeod provides leadership for developing policy objectives that support the future growth and success of hospitals and health systems as they respond to the challenges they face going forward. She joined CHA in 2007 and immediately began working on health policy and financing issues with then Governor Schwarzenegger’s health care reform team.  Ms. McLeod designed and developed the original hospital fee a landmark program for the hospital industry, providing billions of dollars of new funding.

Patrick Redmon, Ph.D.
Berkeley Research Group, LLC

Dr. Redmon has over twenty years of experience in healthcare economics, working with healthcare clients and in government and academics. His work has focused on payment and rate-setting methodologies, payment reform, and data analysis for payers and providers. He has worked with health systems, academic medical centers, community hospitals, and trade associations in assessing and developing payment methodologies in a variety of settings.

Eric Shell, MBA, CPA
Stroudwater Associates

Mr. Shell is a leader in supporting rural healthcare through the industry’s transition to population health. With over 27 years of experience in healthcare financial management and consulting and nearly 20 years with Stroudwater, Mr. Shell’s passion for sustainable and accessible rural healthcare has driven him to assist hundreds of rural hospitals, rural health clinics, and physician group practices in improving financial and operational performance and developing strategic and operational plans.

Michael Stitcher
Clinical Economics Director
Berkeley Research Group, LLC

Mr. Stitcher has over twenty years of experience serving healthcare clients. Mr. Stitcher has extensive experience in the negotiation and facilitation of changing reimbursement methodologies between payers, providers, and regulators; resolving challenging coding and billing matters; and developing and implementing strategic performance improvement plans. He has conducted market demand studies, clinical program development analyses, merger and clinical integration assistance, developed business plans, and certificate-of-need assistance.

Peggy Broussard Wheeler
Vice President, Rural Health Care and Governance
California Hospital Association

Ms. Broussard Wheeler serves as vice president of CHA’s Rural Healthcare Center. She is responsible for developing, advocating and executing public policies, legislation and regulations on behalf of small and rural hospitals at the state and national levels. In addition, she serves as the issue manager for language access, governance, prison and homeless issues. Previously, Ms. Broussard Wheeler served as health policy analyst for the California Legislative Rural Caucus where she conducted research and provided analyses of relevant issues that affect individuals, families and communities in rural California.



Members* $395, Nonmembers** $495 (limitations apply, see below)

Tuition includes reception, luncheon and CEs.

Critical Access Hospital Tuition Scholarships
CAH tuition scholarships are available for the symposium. See the CAH Scholarship tab for more information.

*Members are CHA member hospitals, CHA associate members and government agencies. **Nonmembers are limited to non-hospital health care providers, clinics, post-acute facilities, and consultants, insurance companies, law firms and other entities that serve hospitals. Education programs and publications are a membership benefit and are not available to eligible nonmember California hospitals.

Continuing Education

Full attendance at the educational session is a prerequisite for receiving professional continuing education credit. Attendees must sign in at the symposium and, when required, include professional license number. Certificates of attendance will be emailed.

Health Care Executives — CHA is authorized to award 6.25 hours of pre-approved ACHE Qualified Education credit for this program toward advancement, or recertification, in the American College of Healthcare Executives. Participants in this program who wish to have the continuing education hours applied toward ACHE Qualified Education credit must self-report their participation. To self-report, participants must log into their MyACHE account and select ACHE Qualified Education Credit.

Nursing — Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, CEP 11924, 7.5 contact hours.

Cancellation Policy

A $50 non-refundable processing fee will be retained for each cancellation received in writing by May 21. No refunds will be made after this date. Substitutions are encouraged. Cancellation and substitution notifications may be emailed to In the unlikely event the program is cancelled, CHA will fully refund paid participants within 30 days.

Americans with Disabilities Act

If you require special accommodations pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, contact the CHA Education Department at (916) 552-7637.

Photo Release

CHA may photograph  this event. If you prefer not to be photographed please email CHA at

CAH Scholarships

Critical Access Hospital tuition scholarships are available through the CAH Flex Grant for the symposium. Some limitations apply. For more information, contact Peggy Broussard Wheeler at (916) 552-7689 or


Hyatt Regency Sacramento
1209 L Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
(800) 233-1234 (reservations)
(916) 443-1234

The Hyatt Regency Sacramento is the host hotel and site of this year’s event. Located in the heart of downtown Sacramento and directly across the street from the State Capitol, the Hyatt is close to numerous dining options, shopping and parks. Rooms are available at a discounted rate of $219, single and double occupancy. Don’t delay, the discount deadline is May 7 and room availability is limited. For reservations call (800) 233-1234 and mention the “California Hospital Association” or click here to book online.


Do you have a product or service of interest to rural hospitals? This annual workshop is an opportunity to reach California rural hospital executives all in one place.

Want more information? Contact Lisa Hartzell at