The Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program (Flex Program), created by Congress in 1997, allows small hospitals to be licensed as Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) and offers grants to States to help implement initiatives to strengthen the rural health care infrastructure.
To participate in the Flex Program, States are required to develop a rural health care plan that provides for the creation of one or more rural health networks, promotes regionalization of rural health services in the State, and improves the quality of and access to hospital and other health services for rural residents of the State. Consistent with their rural health care plans, states may designate eligible rural hospitals as CAHs.
Guidance for Rural Emergency Hospital Provisions, Conversion Process and Conditions of Participation
Rural Health Redesign is the National Technical Assistance Provider for Rural Emergency Hospitals.