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

Presentation Resource
Member
Priya Bathija, staff liaison to the AHA Board Task Force, reviewed the report on Ensuring Access in Vulnerable Communities and discussed the nine strategies…
Presentation Resource
Member
"Super-utilizers" refers to a small section of the population accounting for a large portion of emergency room visits and puts a heavy burden on hospital…
This issue of the CAH Update reviews Hill action on efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), reviews the federal budget, identifies AHA's…
Resources
The Section for Small or Rural Hospitals provides its members two electronic newsletters, the Small or Rural Update and the CAH Update, which inclu
Other Resources
This issue of the Small or Rural Update reviews the state of play on several legislative and regulatory issues of particular importance to small and rural…
Issue Landing Page
Rural Health Grants