The landscape within rural communities was very different in 1977 than it was 20 years later when Congress created the Critical Access Hospital (CAH) designation through the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. The intent was to reduce the financial vulnerability of rural hospitals and improve access to healthcare by keeping essential services in rural communities. In the 20+ years since, healthcare and the settings in which it is provided (and subsequent regulations) has continued to evolve.

Recently, there was H.R. 2957, Save Rural Hospitals Act. Creating a Community Outpatient Hospital (COH) designation. The focus would maintain the vital economic contribution the health system makes to the community, expand funding opportunities, along with telehealth and transportation for accessibility and improved quality of care. Read Full Article

Author: Roger Barnhart

Roger has more than 20 years of experience within multiple healthcare settings. Successful change agent through the development of collaborations with community hospitals, physicians, home health and skilled nursing providers in both rural and urban communities. Strong history of turnaround management within the rapidly changing healthcare market through strategic planning, business development, revenue generation and preventative health initiatives. Working within the value-based care continuum, developing collaborative environments for transformation of the care delivery system – improving quality and satisfaction scores for shared savings at reduced cost. Executive Experience: Rural/Urban Health | Acute Care | Skilled Nursing | Home Health | Primary Care | Mental/Behavioral Health Administrative Oversight: Strategic Planning | Business Development | Population Health Management | Organizational Expansion | Financial Sustainabil