In general, a Critical Access Hospital or CAH is a rural acute care hospital consisting of no more than 25 beds. Bed types can vary between acute care and swing, but cannot exceed 25. The Critical Access Hospital must not exceed a 96 hour length of stay and will have agreements, contracts or affiliations for transfer and services. Critical Access Hospitals must be certified to receive cost-based reimbursement from Medicare. The goal is to improve rural health care access and reduce hospital closures. Learn more at the Rural Access Center.

Synonyms: Critical Access Hospital

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