Critical Access Hospitals
The Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) program works to improve access to rural health care and reduce rural hospital closures. Critical Access Hospitals provide essential services to a community. CAH’s are reimbursed by Medicare on a reasonable cost basis for services provided to Medicare patients.
The Flex Monitoring Team maintains a list of Critical Access Hospitals which includes the hospital name, city, state, ZIP code and effective date of CAH status.
For State Flex Profiles and/or technical
National Rural Health Resource Center
Technical Assistance and Services Center (TASC)
State Rural Hospital Flexibility Program Contacts
For questions about CMS regulations
CMS Regional Rural Representatives
For survey and certification
CMS State Survey Agency Directory
There are more organizations related to Critical Access Hospitals in the organizations section.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a Critical Access Hospital?
- How many CAHs are there and where are they located?
- What is the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program and how is it related to the CAH program?
- What types of facilities are eligible for CAH status?
- What are the location requirements for CAH status?
- Can a CAH add an off-campus provider based entity that does not meet the CAH distance requirements?
- What are the requirements for relocating an existing CAH under the Necessary Provider replacement rules?
- What are the benefits of CAH status?
- Are all the benefits of CAH status available in every state?
- Will CAH conversion guarantee a better financial return?
- Will CAH conversion solve all the problems at a hospital?
- Is CAH conversion a downgrade for a facility?
- Is there a limit on the length of stay for patients at CAHs?
- How many beds are allowed?
- What emergency services are CAHs required to provide?
- What kinds of agreements does a CAH need to have with an acute care hospital?
- How do staffing requirements differ for CAHs, compared to general acute care hospitals?
- Are other requirements for CAHs different from those for general acute care hospitals?
- Does Medicaid provide special reimbursement to CAHs?
- How can a hospital decide if CAH conversion is the right choice?
- How can staff and a community be involved in the CAH conversion process?
- What is the CAH survey process?
- What are the quality assurance options for CAHs?
- How do provisions in the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act (MMA) impact Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs)?
- Who can answer questions about CAH status or reimbursement issues?
- What are the requirements for financial incentives for meaningful use of EHRs and CAHs?