Determine Your Eligibility

To be eligible for critical access hospital accreditation, the following requirements are needed:

  • Has been designated by the state as a critical access hospital
  • Is located in a rural area or is treated as rural
  • Is located more than a 35-mile drive from any other hospital
  • Maintains no more than 25 inpatient beds
  • Maintains an annual average length of stay of 96 hours per patient for acute inpatient care
  • Complies with all CAH Conditions of Participation, including the requirement to make available 24-hour emergency care services 7 days per week. 

A critical access hospital that is new to The Joint Commission must have one active inpatient case and 10 inpatient records at the time of the survey. A critical access hospital that is seeking Medicare certification and is new to The Joint Commission must have one active inpatient case and 20 inpatient records at the time of the survey.