National Rural Health Association

2015 Policy Institute

Response to 2013 OIG CAH Report

NRHA's Response to the Office of Inspector General's Report on Critical Access Hospitals 

The Office of Inspector General at the Department of Health and Human Services released a report that, if fully implemented, could close hundreds of rural hospitals across the nation, reducing access to health care for millions of rural patients while costing taxpayers more money.

The 34-page report on critical access hospitals (CAHs) asks Congress to allow CMS to strip CAH status from any facility that came into the program under state "necessary provider" designations.

For some states this could mean that as many as 70% of CAHs could lose the status. Read the full report here

In response, NRHA has sent a letter to House and Senate leadership about the vital importance of CAHs.

Your elected officials need to hear from you about the work your CAH does for your rural community. 

Contact your senators and representatives today to let them know how important critical access hospitals are in your state.

NRHA has put together a number of talking points about the vital importance of these facilities.

NRHA hosted a webinar to layout the concerns we have about this report and the challenges that CAHs may face on Capitol Hill in the near future.

The slides used on the webinar are available here. A recording of the webinar is available here.

A number of media reports have referenced NRHA's efforts to fight back against the recommendations in this report. Some of these articles are included below (note, some sites may require a subscription):

A number of NRHA members have also begun to engage the media and their elected officials to stand up for Critical Access Hospitals. Tim Size from the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative provides this brief on the history of CAHs.

Twenty senators sent a letter to the Senate Finance Committee in response to the cuts in the President's Fiscal Year 2014 budget aimed at Critical Access Hospitals and the Office of Inspector General's report. The Dear Colleague letter states the vital role CAHs play in providing access to health care, jobs in rural communities and are the safety nets for hundreds of thousands of rural Americans, providing inpatient and outpatient services, as well as 24-hour emergency care. The National Rural Health Association applauds these senators for standing up for health care in rural America.  

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