Critical Access Hospitals

Critical access hospitals (CAHs) are vital for maintaining access to high-quality health care services in rural communities. Since established by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, the AHA has been a champion for its CAH members.

CAHs represent a quarter of all U.S. and more than two-thirds of all rural community hospitals. Securing the future of CAHs and the essential role they play in caring for rural America is of paramount importance. The AHA remains vigilant in the face of legislative, regulatory and policy proposals that threaten either the local delivery of care or rural community health status.

We advocate for CAH program improvements and enhancements as well as fixes to payment and administrative limitations that constrain the efficiency and effectiveness of these essential health care providers. AHA is deeply committed to ensuring that the needs of these safety-net hospitals are met through:

  1. Representation and advocacy
  2. Executive education, communication and management strategies
  3. CEO and trustee engagement
 
Communications

Representation and Advocacy

 
 

Tools and Resources

Access to Care in Vulnerable Communities

For millions of Americans living in vulnerable rural and urban communities, their hospital is often the only source of care. However, many of these hospitals are fighting to survive – potentially leaving their communities at risk for losing access to health care services. The AHA'...

Rural Regulatory Policy

RULEMAKING AND REGULATORY POLICY Medicare policy changes and payment adjustments often have significant and problematic consequences for rural providers. AHA is sensitive to the administrative burden and cost created by rules that fail to consider the unique circumstances of small or...

FCC Rural Health Care Program

The Rural Health Care Program, which includes the new Healthcare Connect Fund, provides funding to eligible health care providers (HCPs) for telecommunications and broadband services necessary for the provision of health care. The goal of the program is to improve the quality of heal...

Related Resources

Case Studies
Case Studies
Connecting health systems and community-based organization
Letter
Public
AHA letter to Representative Ron King expressing support for the Rural Emergency Medical Center Act of 2018 (H.R. 5678).
Letter
Public
AHA letter to Rep.. Lynn Jenkins expressing support for the Rural Emergency Medical Center Act of 2018 (H.R. 5678).
Press Releases
Public
Issue Brief
The American Hospital Association’s Task Force on Ensuring Access in Vulnerable Communities issued a report in 2016, recommending Congress establish new models…