Promoting and protecting the health and safety of all Idahoans

Critical Access Hospitals (CAH)

Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) Program

The Bureau of Rural Health & Primary Care develops, evaluates, and administers this federal program that provides states the opportunity to strengthen rural health care through a holistic approach.

The Idaho Flex program focuses on the following program areas (with an emphasis and priority on quality and financial/operational improvement:

  • Critical Access Hospital (CAH) Quality Improvement (Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project)
  • CAH Financial and Operational Improvement 
  • CAH Population Health Improvement 
  • Rural Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Improvement

CAHs are required to report quality metrics to participate in the Flex program: Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project (MBQIP)

Small Rural Hospital Improvement Grant Program — SHIP

The Bureau of Rural Health & Primary Care administers this federally funded grant program to provide assistance to qualifying hospitals with 49 beds or fewer. SHIP funds support activities related to quality improvement and investments towards meaningful use of health information technology.

  • Value Based Purchasing (improving data collection activities in order to facilitate reporting to Hospital Compare)
  • Accountable Care Organizations or shared savings (improving quality outcomes; activities that support quality improvement)
  • Payment Bundling and Prospective Payment Systems (building accountability across the continuum of care and maintaining accurate PPS billing and coding)

SHIP eligible facilities must submit applications to the Bureau of Rural Health & Primary Care and meet all eligibility requirements defined by the federal grant guidance.