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Background: Payment Policy Changes
for Small Rural Hospitals
- Subsequent legislation and regulations made the program even more beneficial for rural hospitals with fewer than 26 acute care beds.
- The number of critical access hospitals (CAHs) grew rapidly from 1997 through 2006.
- Currently there are approximately 1288 CAHs.
- Most have qualified through the "necessary provider" criterion.
- Approximately two-thirds of CAHs are 16-34 road miles from the next nearest hospital, and about 15% are within 15 or fewer miles.
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