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

Rural Hospital Flexibility Grant Program

Program Purpose

The Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) Program is a Federal initiative that provides funding to State Governments to strengthen rural health. It:

  1. Allows small hospitals the flexibility to reconfigure operations and be licensed as Critical Access Hospital (CAHs).
  2. Offers cost-based reimbursement for Medicare acute inpatient and outpatient services.
  3. Encourages the development of rural-centric health networks.
  4. Offers grants to States to help implement a CAH program in the context of broader initiatives to strengthen the rural health care infrastructure.

Program Overview

The Flex grant program helps stabilize rural hospitals and improves access to health services in rural communities. Grants are awarded to States for: Development and implementation of Rural Health Plans with broad collaboration; stabilizing rural hospitals by helping them consider, plan for, and obtain designation as "Critical Access Hospitals" (CAH); supporting CAHs, other providers and communities as they develop networks of care; helping improve and integrate emergency medical services; and improving the quality of care in rural communities. To date, over 1,200 hospitals have converted to Critical Access status. In FY2005 over 900 CAHs and small rural hospitals received direct benefits through the Flex program.

Reference Materials


    List of Rural Hospital Flexibility Program Grantees  
Flex Grant Program Information
  State Rural Hospital Flexibility Program Monitoring Team website  
Technical Assistance and Services Center (TASC) for the Rural Hospital Flexibility Program
Legislative Authority for the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program
Rural Hospital Flexibility Program Strategic Plan Outline
Lists of Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs)


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