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Critical Access Designation - Idaho

Idaho is known for its rugged beauty and millions of acres of wilderness. The Idaho landscape ranges from subalpine forests to desert, mountains to fertile farms, lakes and waterfalls to canyons and gorges. Idaho has the greatest stand of white pine trees in the country and is first in the country in production of silver. Idaho covers 82,747 square miles, with a 2013 estimated population of 1,612,136 people - 544,492 living in rural Idaho. Boise, the capital, is located in the southwestern region of the state. The state's largest cities include Boise, Nampa, Pocatello and Idaho Falls. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 93.7% of the state's population is white, 1.7% is American Indian and Alaska Native, 1.4% is Asian and 11.8% is of Hispanic/Latino origin (2013).

Idaho Rural Healthcare Facilities

There are 40 hospitals in Idaho, 27 of which are located in rural areas The state has 27 hospitals identified as Critical Access Hospitals. There are 45 Rural Health Clinics in Idaho, and 11 Federally Qualified Health Centers provide services at 76 sites in the state .The Nell J. Redfield Memorial Hospital has been officially recognized as a Critical Access Hospital. A Critical Access Hospital (CAH) is a hospital that is certified to receive cost-based reimbursement from Medicare. The reimbursement that CAHs receive is intended to improve their financial performance and thereby reduce hospital closures. CAHs are certified under a different set of Medicare Conditions of Participation (CoP) that are more flexible than the acute care hospital CoPs.

CAHs must be located in a rural area and meet on of the following criteria:

Over 35 mile distance from another hospital, or

15 miles from another hospital in mountainous terrain or areas with only secondary roads, or

State-certified as a necessary provider of health care services to residents in the area. (Prior to January 1, 2006 only)

Rural Health Clinics

The Oneida County Clinic has been designated as a Rural Health Clinic.

To qualify as a Rural Health Clinic (RHC), the clinic must be located in a non-urbanized area and a designated medically underserved area or designated population group or geographic health professional shortage area.

RHCs provide routine diagnostic and laboratory services and employ mid-level practitioners 50 percent of the time the clinic is open. The Bureau of Rural Health & Primary Care offers technical assistance to organizations considering RHC certification and those currently certified. In Idaho, the Department of Health and Welfare, Division of Medicaid, Bureau of Facility Standards is responsible for RHC certification.