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Change is coming to rural healthcare – and we're committed to ensuring it's a change for the better. That's why we're pooling the resources of 5 top firms to create a single destination for any solution you might seek. From the grandest vision to the most granular tactic, we have the expertise and experience to meet your exact needs. 

As a purpose-driven organization, we're here to serve you, not to sell you. When you reach out for a rapid assessment, we'll help you prioritize the most mission-critical solutions and then assemble a team to make them happen. We'll help you chart a path to long-term sustainability, and we'll walk the path with you for as long as you need us. Isn't that what a committed partnership is all about?


Are you tired of cut-and-paste strategies or plans that seem outdated even before they’re implemented? At Ascendient Healthcare Advisors, we provide future-focused strategies tailored for each individual facility and the community it serves – because each client’s situation is unique. We’re transforming the way leaders approach healthcare delivery, and how they plan for long-term success.

Our goal is to help today’s healthcare executives envision and prepare for a world in which each patient receives just the right care, at the right time, in the right place, by the right provider. And, we have practical tools designed to help. In fact, using our proprietary Healthytown™ statistical model, combined with our expert analysis, we accurately predicted in 2015 many of the trends happening across the industry today – long before firms relying on traditional models had these on their radar.


With a robust practice among rural, community-based providers, we leverage decades of experience and depth with our proprietary research-based tools, including Healthytown™, to predict what the local care delivery landscape will look like within the next decade – and develop a plan for getting there – all while keeping an eye on today’s bottom line.

If you want to explore the benefits of a more comprehensive and integrated long-term approach to strategy, planning, and feasibility, Ascendient‘s team would like to hear from you.

Strategy anchor

Facility development & financing

For too long, third-party real estate and financing interests have exerted outsized influence in the planning and development of healthcare facilities. For the past 16 years, Criterion Healthcare has helped put the focus back where it belongs: finding solutions that prioritize and support the ongoing delivery of healthcare in community and rural settings.


Whether it is the simple re-development of a distressed property, a sorely needed clinic where none previously existed, or an all-new greenfield community hospital campus, Criterion uses traditional and creative real estate development strategies to support the delivery of care. In some cases, we even recommend building nothing at all when construction does not make sense as a solution that puts healthcare first.


Criterion’s development strategies have included real estate joint ventures between physicians, hospitals and other mission driven, local and impassioned investors; USDA Rural Development financed projects via both Community Facilities and Business and Industry Cooperative programs; HUD 242 financed projects; and a plethora of others via multiple Rural Healthcare Support organizations.

As the challenges of community and rural healthcare delivery continue to evolve, Criterion Healthcare is your partner in crafting solutions that support the delivery of care as opposed to prolonging a problem for the profit in doing so.

Facilities anchor

Legal, regulatory & compliance

You might not want to call a lawyer, but when the time comes, it’s good to know you’ve got the very best in your corner. Nelson Mullins is a nationally recognized provider of legal services to clients all across the healthcare industry, with more than sixty healthcare attorneys working at the intersection of business, public health, and politics. Challenged by complex regulatory issues, the healthcare industry requires legal representation experienced with the intense oversight of healthcare transactions, claims, and regulatory matters.


Nelson Mullins’ attorneys and professionals bring diverse legal knowledge and multidisciplinary skillsets together with insights into healthcare business operations, government affairs, litigation, compliance, and transactional law. For each engagement, we craft a customized approach that prioritizes our client’s unique needs. Our team provides trusted advice while working to help our clients evolve in a dynamic, politically charged environment.


In particular, Nelson Mullins’ healthcare attorneys have recognized the need to provide a comprehensive, turn-key solution to the crisis affecting rural community hospitals. We have firsthand, on-the-ground experience in dealing with distressed hospitals, having handled some of the most difficult hospital restructurings in the country. From routine regulatory and compliance needs to the most complex litigation or insolvency issues, Nelson Mullins brings together all the legal disciplines necessary to address the needs of comm­­unity hospitals.

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Legal anchor

Strategic communications

The crisis in rural healthcare is a story that needs telling – and and your place in the story is a key part of the narrative.


Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock, Inc. is a U.S. Top 10 strategic communications consulting firm for healthcare providers of all sizes experiencing significant change, challenge or opportunity.

With offices in Nashville, Tenn. and Chicago, Jarrard is always ready to immediately address any issue, strategy or goal, serving as an extension of your team. They are your strategic thought partner and tactical resource to achieve partnership and growth goals faster, to accelerate change, to integrate your physical and digital presence and to protect your reputation in times of crisis.

Founded in 2006, Jarrard has worked with more than 500 clients in over 40 states and served as a communications advisor on more than $60 billion in announced M&A and partnership transaction communications. The firm specializes in M&A, change management, issue navigation and strategic positioning. Jarrard Inc. is a division of The Chartis Group, one of the nation’s leading healthcare advisory and analytics firms.

Communications anchor

Physician Practice  network Management

Healthy physician practices are key to a healthy community – especially in rural areas that might not support a full-service hospital. With a 30-year history, Health Management Resources may be the only firm in the country with a demonstrated track record of building hospital-operated physician networks that consistently achieve acceptable operating results.


HMR is the architect and hands-on facilitator of some of the most successful hospital-operated physician networks in the country. Our expertise in physician practice management, Rural Health Clinic operations and physician-hospital organizational development creates physician alignment strategies that meet the goals of the hospital, the physicians and the communities they serve.​


HMR provides turnkey physician alignment services including network design and modeling, infrastructure development plans, physician compensation planning, deal structuring, practice/asset valuations, physician/practice onboarding, and interim network management.

Our team is comprised of very senior level practice management executives who focus exclusively on the needs of hospital-operated medical practices. Of critical importance, our plans and recommendations are real-world, practical and implementable.

Physician practice anchor

Operations & finance

If patient care is the tip of the healthcare iceberg, then it's all of the operational functions just below the surface that might present the greatest navigational hazards as you plot your course to sustainability.

At RHI, we have a number of seasoned rural healthcare executives with experience in financial turnarounds, quality/safety improvement, provider recruitment, service development, and more. With deep knowledge of data analytics and process management, we can pinpoint the operational details that offer the greatest potential for improved performance – while keeping an eye on the big picture of organizational strategy and patient outcomes.

Finance anchor
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