Critical access hospitals


  • People in need of acute care services due to pregnancy, illness, or injury who live in rural/frontier areas.


  • Main campus hospital services:

    • Inpatient and outpatient acute care services and emergency services.

    • Emergency services are usually provided 24/7. On-call services will be available within 30 minutes. If the hospital is located in a rural frontier area, on-call services will be provided within 60 minutes.

    • Emergency services may be provided by a physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or clinical nurse specialist with training or experience in emergency care.

  • Off-campus location services:

    • Outpatient services.

Licensed staff routinely on-site

  • Physician extenders (i.e., advanced nurse practitioners or physician assistants) and nurses. Some facilities, but not all, routinely have physicians on-site.
FAQ: CMS Rural Emergency Hospital Program