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News Local News Big South Fork Medical Center approved as Critical Access Hospital

Big South Fork Medical Center approved as Critical Access Hospital

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved Big South Fork Medical Center's application for designation as a Critical Access Hospital, retroactive to June 30, 2021. Critical Access Hospitals are hospitals that are smaller than 25 beds, located in a rural community and have an average patient stay of less than 96 hours. By being designated a CAH, Big South Fork Medical Center will be eligible for Medicare reimbursement of up to 101%.

Big South Fork Medical Center has been granted designation as a Critical Access Hospital, its parent company announced Monday.

Rennova Health said that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved BSFMC’s application for the designation change, retrospective to June 30, 2021.

With the switch to a Critical Access Hospital, BSFMC will be eligible to receive cost-based reimbursement from Medicare, which could increase the hospital’s revenue. 

“We are delighted to be granted Critical Access Hospital certification for this hospital,” said Rennova CEO Seamus Lagan. “The opportunity for increased revenue and reimbursement is a welcome boost to the facility for the needed service it provides to the local community.”

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Previously, BSFMC was designated as an Acute Care Hospital. Acute Care Hospitals are hospitals that provide short-term patient care, while Critical Access Hospitals are smaller facilities that provide limited outpatient and inpatient services to people in rural areas. 

By definition, CAHs have fewer than 25 beds, are located more than 35 miles from the nearest hospital, provide 24-hour emergency care services, and have an average stay of 96 hours or less. About 1 in 4 of America’s hospitals are CAHs. 

Although not requirements of CMS, Critical Access Hospitals often do not have intensive care units, do not offer cardiac catheterization and do not offer other surgeries.

Once a hospital is designated a CAH, CMS reimburses its Medicare costs at 101%.

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