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The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is recognizing ten states for outstanding quality performance of their Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) in achieving the highest reporting rates and levels of improvement over the past year.

The 10 top-performing states – Wisconsin, Maine, Utah, Minnesota, Illinois and Pennsylvania (tied), Michigan, Nebraska, Indiana and Massachusetts – built on their previous successes by investing Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) funds into quality improvement projects and developing technical assistance resources that improve high-quality care in their communities. States also work collaboratively with every CAH and their respective partners to share best practices and utilize data to drive quality improvement in their hospitals.

“Rural hospitals are key safety-net providers in their communities and it is important that we make every effort to provide the highest quality of care to individuals living in rural communities,” said Dr. George Sigounas, HRSA Administrator. “Critical Access Hospitals may be limited in resources, but they have strong connections to their community and a commitment to quality care for every patient that is reflected in their effort to meet higher standards.”

In 2011, FORHP, located within HRSA, created a program to promote high quality of care at rural hospitals with 25 beds or fewer. Low-volume hospitals participating in the Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project (MBQIP) voluntarily report on a set of quality measures relevant to the care they provide, share data, and take on quality improvement initiatives. Currently, 96 percent of the 1,340 CAHs in the U.S. are reporting rural-relevant quality measures.

For more information:

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy – www.hrsa.gov/ruralhealth

Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Program – https://www.ruralcenter.org/tasc/mbqip 

Critical Access Hospitals – https://www.ruralhealthinfo.org/topics/critical-access-hospitals