Measuring the Community Benefits and Impact of Critical Access Hospitals

Research center:
Lead researcher:
Project funded:
September 2003
Project completed:
March 2010
Project staff are developing a set of Critical Access Hospital community benefits and impact indicators and measures along with accompanying data collection strategies with input and guidance from an expert panel of hospital industry representatives, CAH administrators, and Flex Program Coordinators/SORH representatives. These indicators and measures will be developed within a framework that includes core components of community benefits and impact such as:
  • Improved hospital financial and quality performance
  • Hospital involvement/leadership in the development of services including primary care, specialty services, preventive care, chronic care/disease management, and/or community health improvement services and programs
  • Hospital leadership in the development of a "seamless continuum of care" through linkages with local EMS, physicians, primary care practices such as Rural Health Clinics and Federally Qualified Health Centers, public health agencies, home health, and nursing facilities
  • Hospital involvement and leadership in the development of community partnerships designed to address community health needs
  • Hospital involvement/leadership in the development of a community level or regional service mix that avoids unnecessary duplication/redundancy and best meets the needs of the community and its vulnerable populations.

These data collections strategies and tools will be pilot tested in the spring of 2007 using 10 CAHs who will be asked to evaluate the proposed community benefits indicators and data collection tools. Upon review of the results of this pilot test with the expert panel, project staff will prepare a Briefing Paper for dissemination in the fall of 2007 on measuring the community benefits and impact of CAHs including the results of the pilot test and recommendations for the future strategy.