Changes to Critical Access Hospitals

If you don’t know yet, there are some contemplated changes to CAHs (Critical Access Hospitals).

Here’s a rundown of CAH’s basic requirements:

  1. Must be in a state with a Flex Program
  2. Must be located in a rural area or subject to rural area provisions
  3. Must have average length of stay of < 96 hours for acute care stays
  4. Must be located at least 35 miles from nearest CAH/hospital or 15 miles under some circumstances

The problem is that if these providers were forced to re-certify, they may not meet the rural requirement or the distance requirement. There is a potential savings in decreasing CAH payments, which are not limited to PPS payments. Let’s see how this develops, but this seems like a logical next step for CMS.

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