CU Health & Medical Discussion

Critical Access Hospitals (CAH)Contains unread posts
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Critical Access Hospitals (CAH)
Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) (Swing Beds) (Staffing) (CAH vs REH-Rural
Emergency Hospitals)
Scroll past the FAQs and read the entire article.
Discussion Prompt:
1. Compare/contrast CAH vs REH. Discuss key differences.
2. What is the value of CAHs for rural health?
3. What are the greatest threats for sustainability of CAHs?
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Mikayla Coccia posted Sep 8, 2022 10:04 PM
1. Compare/contrast CAH vs REH. Discuss key differences.
REH or rural emergency hospitals were established as a new
Medicare provider type in the consolidated appropriations act,
2021. This law going into effect on January 1 , 2023, will allow
critical access hospitals and other small rural hospitals meet
eligibility criteria to convert to REH. REH reimbursed at 105% of
prospective payment system for emergency. CAH or critical
access hospitals is designation given to eligible rural hospitals
by the centers for Medicare and Medicaid services. CAHs are
designed to reduce the financial vulnerability of rural hospitals
and improve access to healthcare by keeping essential services
in rural communities. Unlike CAH, REHs will not be allowed to
provide inpatient services
2. What is the value of CAHs for rural health?
The value of CAHs for rural health is to reduce the financial
vulnerability of rural hospitals and improve access to
3. What are the greatest threats for sustainability of CAHs?
The greatest threats of sustainability of CAH’s include not all
benefits of CAH status is available in every state and there are
multiple conditions to be able to obtain a CAH designation.
Rural Health Information Hub. Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs)
Overview. (n.d.). Retrieved September 8, 2022, from
Ashlynn Jackson posted Sep 8, 2022 10:01 PM
CAH stands for Critical Access Hospital and REH stands for
Rural Emergency Hospital. REHs will start to rise up in the year
of 2023 as this is when they have been ruled to be possible by
legislations for those hospitals that can meet the criteria to
become and REH. The biggest difference that will set Critical
Access Hospitals and Rural Emergency Hospitals apart is
inpatients. To be considered a Rural Emergency Hospital, that
organization is not allowed to provide any inpatient services.
To be a Critical Access Hospital, an organization can provide
inpatient services but have a 25 bed limit. Another difference
between the two distinctions will be how Medicare and
Medicaid reimburse them. A Critical Access Hospital is
reimbursed by allowable cost plus 1% while a Rural Emergency
Hospital will be reimbursed at 105% of the OPPS(out patient
prospective payment system).
The value of Critical Access Hospitals for rural health is very
valuable. Critical Access Hospitals make it possible for rural
health populations to be able to have access to acute patient
care when bigger hospitals are to far or not ideal for that
population. Critical Access Hospitals can also provide rural
heath clinics that bring in providers to see more of the
population and get them access to services that they may
need. I personally work in a Critical Access Hospital that
provides a specialty clinic which allows the rural population to
have access to medical professionals such as nephrologists,
dietitians, and podiatrists.
The current greatest threat for sustainability of Critical Access
Hospitals are congressional reimbursement cuts and physician
workload. Critical Access Hospitals have to be well enough to
be able to provide physicians to provide the services offered at
the organization. With bigger hospitals able to afford and offer
better pay it can become challenging for a CAH to compete.
The other threat CAH faces is the congressional cuts and
continuous legislation that is always in limbo. A CAH survives
off the reimbursements through medicare and with congress
wanting to reduce this by 2% it will really cause more burden
on those CAH already struggling to tread water.

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