13 hospitals joining CMS rural demonstration program

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The Rural Community Hospital Demonstration Program, which aims to test payments to rural facilities under a “reasonable cost-based methodology” for Medicare inpatient services, has 17 returning and 13 new participants as part of a five-year extension of the program.

Thanks to the 21st Century Cures Act, the program was reopened after the initial five-year program closed on Dec. 30, 2014. No applications had been accepted since 2010. The extension maintained the program limit of 30 participants, with priority given to states with lower population densities and with nearby rural hospital closures in the past five years.

Applicants were required to be located in a rural area, have fewer than 51 acute care beds, make available 24-hour emergency services and not be eligible for or designated as a Critical Access Hospital (CAH).

Final selections were originally supposed to be announced in June. 17 previously participating hospitals were confirmed to be staying in the program:

  • Central Peninsula Hospital; Soldotna, Alaska
  • Bartlett Regional Hospital; Juneau, Alaksa
  • Brookings Health System; Brookings, S.D.
  • Columbus Community Hospital; Columbus, Neb.
  • Delta County Memorial Hospital; Delta, Colo.
  • Yampa Valley Medical Center; Steamboat Springs, Colo.
  • St. Anthony Regional Hospital and Nursing Home; Carroll, Iowa
  • Grinnell Regional Medical Center; Grinnell, Iowa
  • Skiff Medical Center; Newton, Iowa
  • Lakes Regional Healthcare; Spirit Lake, Iowa
  • Mercy Hospital Fort Scott; Fort Scott, Kan.
  • Geary Community Hospital; Junction City, Kan.
  • Bob Wilson Memorial Grant County Hospital; Ulysses, Kan.
  • Inland Hospital; Waterville, Maine
  • Maine Coast Memorial Hospital; Ellsworth, Maine
  • Marion General Hospital; Columbia, Miss.
  • Alta Vista Regional Hospital; Las Vegas, N.M.

13 additional hospitals were selected to join the program effective Oct. 1:

  • Montrose Memorial Hospital; Montrose, Colo.
  • Trinity Regional Medical Center; Fort Dodge, Iowa
  • St. John’s Medical Center; Jackson, Wy.
  • Valley View Hospital; Glenwood Springs, Colo.
  • Great Plains Regional Medical Center; Elk City, Okla.
  • The Aroostook Medical Center; Presque Isle, Maine
  • Anderson Regional Medical Center - South; Meridian, Miss.
  • McPherson Hospital; McPherson, Kan.
  • Avera St. Luke’s Hospital; Aberdeen, S.D.
  • Highland Community Hospital; Picayune, Miss.
  • Morton County Health System; Elkhart, Kan.
  • St. Anthony Summit Medical Center; Frisco, Colo.
  • Avera Queen of Peace Hospital; Mitchell, S.D.