Rural hospitals could lose critical access designation

Under budget proposal recommendations, small, rural hospitals could lose their critical access designation under new criteria. With a narrower definition of what is a critical access hospital, an existing critical access facility--called "necessary providers"--would no longer constitute one if there is another hospital within 10 miles. Potentially affecting the status of 61 hospitals nationally, it could save the government $4 billion, report Kaiser Health News and NPR. However, with a status change, struggling critical access hospitals would no longer qualify for reimbursements and could face closures.

Nearly one in four acute care hospitals currently is called a critical access facility, according to the article. Article