Critical Access Hospital (CAH) Designation
In the last quarter of 2005, Schuyler Hospital was officially recognized as a Critical Access Hospital. A Critical Access Hospital (CAH) is a hospital that is certified to receive cost-based reimbursement from Medicare. The reimbursement that CAHs receive is intended to improve their financial performance and thereby reduce hospital closures. Each hospital must review its own situation to determine if CAH status would be advantageous. CAHs are certified under a different set of Medicare Conditions of Participation (CoP) that are more flexible than the acute care hospital CoPs.
CAHs must be located in a rural area and meet one of the following criteria:
* Over 35 mile distance from another hospital, or
* 15 miles from another hospital in mountainous terrain or areas
with only secondary roads, or
* State-certified as a necessary provider of health care services
to residents in the area. (prior to January 1, 2006 only)
Some benefits of conversion to CAH status include:
* Cost-based reimbursement from Medicare, which has the potential
to increase revenues. CAHs are eligible for cost plus 1%
* Focus on community needs.
* CAH network with an acute care hospital for support and
expansion of services.
* Flexible staffing and services, to the extent that state licensure
* Capital improvement costs included in allowable costs for
determining Medicare reimbursement.
* Access to Flex Program grant money.
Source: Rural Assistance Center Online - http://www.raconline.org/