Rural hospitals are their community’s anchor. By providing 24/7 care, essential public services and access to primary care for the 57 million people that live in rural America, these hospitals are vitally important. That’s why the AHA swiftly reacted to guidance issued by CMS late last year which included some inconsistent requirements, and worked with CMS to explain our concerns that some Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) may lose their designation as a result of CMS’ proposal.

We’re pleased to report that CMS revised their documentation requirements for CAHs’ necessary provider designation. The AHA appreciates CMS’s efforts to correct inconsistencies in its previous guidance. We will, however, continue to monitor implementation of this guidance to ensure that those CAHs that have rightfully obtained a necessary provider designation may continue to participate in the CAH program.

 This is a win for rural health and will ensure that these necessary provider critical access hospitals will be able to continue to provide access to care for their communities.