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

Inpatient PPS

More than three-quarters of the nation's inpatient acute-care hospitals are paid under the inpatient prospective payment system, while nearly a quarter are paid based on costs and are called Critical Access Hospitals. The IPPS pays a flat rate based on the average charges across all hos...

Medicaid

Medicaid is the nation’s largest single source of coverage primarily serving low-income populations – children and their families, adults, seniors and disabled individuals. The program provides a broad array of health care services such as primary and acute care services, as well as...

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's T...

Drug Prices

Unchecked drug price increases are not sustainable, and are a serious economic threat to the patients and communities we serve. They not only threaten patient access to drug therapies, but challenge providers’ abilities to provide the highest quality of care. Did you know? In 2015...

Behavioral Health

Hospitals and health systems provide essential behavioral health care services to millions of Americans every day. The American Hospital Association has a long-standing commitment to support member efforts to deliver high-quality, accessible behavioral health services. Consistent with t...

Essential Health Benefit Issues

The Affordable Care Act mandated that health insurance plans sold on the individual and small group markets must cover 10 essential health benefits: Ambulatory patient services (outpatient care) Emergency services. Hospitalization (inpatient care) Maternity and newborn care Menta...

Related Resources

Letter
Other Resources
Method I Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) Under Method I, the CAH bills Medicare for facility services and clinicians’ pro
Action Alert
Member
Press Releases
Public
Press ReleaseBryan Slaba Receives AHA’s Rural Hospital Leadership Award
Advocacy Webinar Recording
Member
Members-only Webinar
Advocacy Alliances
Member
Building on the AHA's extensive work on behalf of small and rural hospitals, this alliance focuses on extending key Medicare provisions that would otherwise…