U.S. Department of Health and Human Services home pageHealth Resources and Services Administration home pageRural Health PolicyQuestionsSearch
girl on swingtrucklandscapeLady on WheelchairChurch
Health Resources and Service Administration
Policy & Research
Border Health
News and Events

Adobe PDF Setup Instructions

Frontier Extended Stay Clinic (FESC) Cooperative Agreement Program

Program Purpose

The purpose of the Frontier Extended Stay Clinic (FESC) Cooperative Agreement Program is to examine the effectiveness and appropriateness of a new type of provider, the FESC, in providing health care services in certain remote locations.

Program Overview

In remote, frontier areas of the country, weather and distance can prevent patients who experience severe injury or illness from obtaining immediate transport to an acute care hospital. For residents in some of those communities, providers offer observation services traditionally associated with acute care inpatient hospitals until the patient can be transferred or is no longer in need of transport. Provision of these services requires the staffing, equipment and quality assurance programs of an acute care hospital. However, extended stay services are not currently reimbursed by Medicare, Medicaid or other third-party payers. For several years, officials in the State of Alaska and several State Offices of Rural Health, Primary Care Offices and Primary Care Associations have explored the development of a new provider type, or other mechanism, that would enable reimbursement of these services through the FESC model.

The Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA) acknowledged the work of FESC supporters by authorizing the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to conduct a demonstration program in which FESCs would be treated as Medicare providers. Under MMA, FESCs are defined as clinics that are: 1) located in communities which are at least 75 miles away from the closest hospital or are inaccessible by public road and 2) designed to address the needs of patients who are unable to be transferred to an acute care facility because of adverse weather conditions or who need monitoring and observation for a limited period of time.

In a separate recognition of the extended care services provided by some frontier clinics, an additional demonstration program to be administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) was established by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2004.

Program Contact

For additional information contact:

Carrie Cochran
Office of Rural Health Policy
5600 Fishers Lane, Rm 9A-55
Rockville, MD 20857
(301) 443-0502



FESC CA Activities FY04- FY06
CMS FESC Demonstration
Technical Assistance
FESC Modeling Project Report
pdf 780kb
State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services FESC Regulations
pdf 121kb
State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services FESC Self Survey Tool
pdf 680kb

Go to: Top | HRSA | HHS | Disclaimer | Accessibility | Privacy