What Is a Critical Access Hospital?

All six of the partner hospitals for the Cancer Center of Western Wisconsin are designed critical access hospitals.

A critical access hospital meets criteria for being a limited service hospital that has been converted to a special designation under the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Grant Program. The majority of critical access hospitals are in health professional shortage areas or medical underserved areas.

A critical access hospital is certified to receive cost-based reimbursement from Medicare. The reimbursement is intended to improve financial performance and thereby reduce hospital closures to promote local, rural access.

Some benefits of being designated a critical access hospital include:

  • Cost-based reimbursement from Medicare
  • Focus on community needs
  • Membership in a critical access hospital support network with an acute care hospital for support
  • Flexible staffing and services
  • Capital improvement costs allowed to be included for determining Medicare reimbursement
  • Flex program grant money access

For more information about Critical Access Hospitals, visit the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

© 2015 Cancer Center of Western Wisconsin. All Rights Reserved.