Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (FLEX/CAH) Program
The California State Office of Rural Health (CalSORH), in partnership with the Federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), participates in the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility and Critical Access Hospital Grant Program (FLEX/CAH). Established by Congress in 1997, this program endeavors to stabilize America’s smallest and most vulnerable rural hospitals, and to improve access to hospital-based care for rural populations.
CalSORH Flex/CAH grants support the implementation of State’s rural health plan. With the assistance of the CAH grant, California’s financially vulnerable hospitals are eligible for conversion to a Critical Access Hospital (CAH) status. CAH status allows cost-based reimbursement under Medicare and some relaxation of the Medicare Conditions of Participation. As of February 2010, 30 California eligible hospitals successfully transitioned to the CAH designation and continue to be financially and programmatically viable.
Assistance from the CalSORH FLEX/CAH Program supports small rural hospitals through an annual grant application/administration process that allows CalSORH to fund technical assistance, financial feasibility analyses, provide enhanced Medicare reimbursement for health care services, quality assurance studies/recommendations, network development (including statewide emergency network support systems) and to identify critical areas for improvement.
FLEX Case Study Report Fiscal Year 2011- Garberville, California (PDF)
Angélica Perez, Program Coordinator