The Critical Access Hospital Network (CCAHN)

The California Critical Access Hospital Network (CCAHN) is a statewide organization which exists for the purpose of creating collaborative working relationships among California critical access hospitals to strengthen its members through sharing resources, education, and innovation.

The CCAHN’s mission: Working together to strengthen the health of our communities.


Flex Grant
Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (FLEX/CAH) Program

This website is funded by the California Department of Health Services, State Office of Rural Health, through a grant from the Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Office of Rural Health Policy.

The Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (FLEX/CAH) Program provides Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) and eligible CAHs with resources and expert services; monitors and ensures the completion of sub-contracted FLEX/CAH technical assistance and services, including Quality Improvement (QI) and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) training and projects; and, supports the network activities of the California Critical Access Hospital Network (CCAHN).

Although focused on small, rural hospitals, the Flex program operates on the National, State, community, and facility levels to cover a broad range of fundamental health service issues and “modernization” goals. State use Flex resouces for performance management activities, training programs, needs assessments, and network building. Efforts have included the use of a balanced scorecard approach, forming relationships with state Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs), developing quality improvement-related networks, and participating in national quality improvement and reporting efforts.

The Flex program requires States to develop rural health plans, and funds their efforts to implement community-level outreach and technical assistance to advance the following goals:

  • Improve quality of care and performance management
  • Improve and integrate EMS
  • Develop and implement rural health networks
  • Support existing CAHs and eligible hospitals
  • Designate CAHs in the State

Only states with Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) or potential CAHs are eligible for the Flex program.


Resource Tool: Critical Access Hospital Requirements: CMS Emergency Preparedness Final Rule

This document combines excerpts from the Final Rule and the recently released Interpretive Guidelines from CMS to provide a consolidated overview document for the Critical Access Hospital (CAH) Requirements. The information provided is only intended to be a resource. It is not intended to take the place of either the written law or regulations. Readers are encouraged to review the specific statutes, regulations, and other interpretive materials for a full and accurate statement of their contents.


AHA Small and Rural Update

The August issue of the Small or Rural Update covered legislative and regulatory issues. This edition of Update examines in detail the rule’s impact on small or rural hospitals, including critical access hospitals (CAH).


2010 Report from the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services Now Available

It is a pleasure to announce the release of the National Advisory Committee on
Rural Health and Human Services’ 2010 Report to the Secretary. The
Committee’s 2010 Report is the culmination of a year-long effort to examine
key health and human service issues affecting rural communities today.

The 2010 Report focuses on home and community based care for rural seniors,
the rural primary care workforce, and rural health care provider integration,
highlights key findings, and provides recommendations to the Secretary.