The Critical Access Hospital (CAH) program is for organizations that meet CMS requirements for designation as a CAH. Such an organization:
- Is located in a state that has established a Medicare rural hospital flexibility program with CMS.
- Has been designated by the state as a Critical Access Hospital.
- Currently participates in Medicare as a rural public, non-profit or for-profit hospital or
was a participating hospital that ceased operation during the 10-year period from November 29, 1989 to November 29, 1999 or is a health clinic or health center that was downsized from a hospital and
- Is located in a rural area or is treated as rural.
- Is located more than a 35-mile drive from any other hospital or CAH (in mountainous terrain or in areas with only secondary roads available, the mileage criterion is 15 miles).
- Maintains no more than 25 inpatient beds.
- Maintains an annual average length of stay of 96 hours per patient for acute inpatient care.
- Complies with all CAH Conditions of Participation, including the requirement to make available 24-hour emergency care services 7 days per week.