Topics: Critical Access Hospitals

For more information and resources, see RHIhub’s Critical Access Hospitals topic guide.

“It’s the relationships”: Q&A with Peggy Broussard Wheeler

Peggy Broussard Wheeler


Peggy Broussard Wheeler, Vice President of Policy at the California Hospital Association, discusses the challenges that the hospitals in her state and nationwide have faced before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. She also shares rural hospitals’ unique strengths and the importance of collaboration and relationships.

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January 19, 2022

It Takes a Village: Rural Recruitment and Retention

physician greeting a family


Healthcare facilities in Kansas and North Dakota and national organizations discuss the challenges of recruiting and retaining healthcare professionals in rural areas and share solutions, including partnering with local schools and businesses as well as other healthcare facilities.

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November 3, 2021

Keeping the Doors Open: Vulnerable Rural Hospitals Benefit from Federally Funded Technical Assistance


It’s a crisis: rural hospital closures. Helping at-risk hospitals thrive in order to continue to serve their communities, Texas A&M’s Center for Optimizing Rural Health (CORH) offers technical assistance through a federally funded program for vulnerable hospitals. The CORH team and an Oklahoma program participant share specifics on just how the program’s assistance can help keep doors open.

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September 1, 2021

Understanding the Rural Swing Bed: More than Just a Reimbursement Policy

patient getting blood pressure checked


“Swing bed” is that oft-heard phrase describing not a physical hospital bed, but post-acute care for the rural patient who is well enough to leave the acute care hospital but not well enough to be safe at home. In this 2-part story, experts and hospital administrators review the swing bed program’s historical implementation and provide stories and examples of the value this over 40-year-old healthcare delivery and reimbursement model brings to patients, to the hospitals providing their care, and ultimately to rural communities.

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August 11, 2021

History of the Swing Bed: A Look Through the Rural Rearview Mirror


The healthcare delivery model known as the swing bed program has allowed rural and Critical Access Hospitals to serve patients by keeping them in their rural communities for post-acute care. Reviewing the history of this program, experts describe early implementation and key program elements that have sustained its success for over 40 years.

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August 11, 2021

Pulmonary Rehabilitation: Benefiting Rural Individuals, Benefiting Rural Population Health

McKenzie Health System pulmonary rehabilitation staff.


On the list of leading causes of death, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, impacts millions of rural Americans and their quality of life. Though limited treatments are available for COPD, research indicates that pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) provides major benefits, yet is currently under-prescribed and facing challenges from COVID-19 and from reimbursement policies. Researchers discuss the potential that tele-PR might bring to rural areas, and rural healthcare leaders highlight the benefits of their PR programs for service areas.

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June 30, 2021

Still Stealing Rural America’s Breath: An Update on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

image of trees shaped as lungs with text COPD: Still Stealing Rural America's Breath


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a condition that continues to steal rural America’s breath. Researchers, philanthropists, and healthcare professionals talk about new rural research efforts and the impact of COVID-19 on COPD. Also discussed is the importance of pulmonary rehabilitation, an impactful treatment long known to improve quality of life and now backed by new research proving it decreases death rates in select patients.

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June 16, 2021

Lakewood Engage Tackles Food Insecurity in Rural Minnesota

Lakewood Engage logo


To address the issue of food insecurity in the rural Minnesota communities it serves, Lakewood Health System created Lakewood Engage, a community-based program with multiple initiatives including a “Food Farmacy,” home delivery, and a farmers market.

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December 23, 2020