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SVMC chosen as Top 100 Critical Access Hospital

March 09, 2018

For the seventh time in eight years, Star Valley Medical Center has been chosen as a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital by the National Rural Health Association, iVantage Health Analytics, and the Chartis Center for Rural Health.  This honor goes to hospitals who are top performers in managing risk, achieving high quality, securing better outcomes, increasing patient satisfaction, and operating at a lower cost than their peers.  To see the complete list of hospitals receiving this honor, click here.  


Different hospital types exist to meet the varied needs of the patients and communities they serve.  A critical Access Hospital (CAH) designation is a hospital certified under a set of Medicare Conditions of Participation (CoP) which are structured differently than larger, acute care hospitals.  A CAH hospital is reimbursed differently and its performance is measured differently due to the lower number of patients.  

CAH status does not mean fewer services offered. Services offered by a CAH should be aimed to meet the community's unique needs. Therefore, the number and type of services offered in one community may be different than in another community.The CAH designation was created by Congress in 1997 in response to a large number of rural hospital closures.  CAH is designed to reduce the financial vulnerability of rural hospitals and improve access to healthcare in rural communities.  Eligible hospitals must meet the following conditions to obtain a CAH designation:  

  • Have 25 or fewer acute care inpatient beds
  • Be located more than 35 miles from another hospital
  • Maintain an average annual length of stay of 96 hours or less 
  • Provide 24/7 emergency care services. 

As of January 12, 2018, there are 1,343 CAHs in the United States.