The National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services (NACRHHS) published their October 2021 Policy Brief on the new provider designation, the Rural Emergency Hospital.
In December 2020, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) of 20211 (Public Law 116-260), which, in Section 125, created a new Medicare provider type called the Rural Emergency Hospital (REH). The REH will be a new rural hospital type that does not provide inpatient care but will provide 24-hour emergency services. By creating the REH, Congress has established the first new rural provider type in over 20 years since the Critical Access Hospital (CAH) was created in 1997 under the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (Public Law 105-33). The REH comes as a response to an ongoing period of hospital closures in rural communities and to the concerns of access to emergency services in rural areas. In the brief, the Committee notes the implications the REH program to offer an innovative way for rural communities to integrate care and services sectors.