What is a "Critical Access Hospital"?

What Makes Us A Critical Access Hospital

Cloud County Health Center has been designated a Critical Access Hospital, as defined by the Office of Rural Health Policy, part of The Health Resources & Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

The Critical Access Hospital (CAH) Program was established to aid in the continuation of healthcare services for rural residents. Kansas has over one million rural residents who can benefit from the CAH Program.

A Critical Access Hospital:

  • Aids in the continuation of health care services for rural residents
  • Enables hospitals to be eligible for cost-based Medicare reimbursement for inpatient and outpatient services
  • With a signed MOA, hospitals are eligible to receive enhanced reimbursement from Medicaid and the State Health Benefit Plan (SBHP)
  • Can limit services and utilize physician assistants and /or nurse practitioners in an effort to reduce their loss
  • May choose to maintain its current services; however, the hospital must agree to the bed size and annual inpatient length of stay limits
  • Provides small, rural hospitals with a range of opportunities for service enhancement, quality of care improvement, and certain economies of scale through network participation


  • Receive enhanced Medicare reimbursement for covered in-patient services
  • Receive 100% of allowable costs for Medicaid out-patient services
  • Retain any Medicaid payment for inpatient services in excess of charges
  • Receive 100% of charges for outpatient services by the State Health Benefit Plan and Board of Regents Health Plan
  • May enroll with SHBP as their group insurance provider.