Critical Access Hospitals’ Initial Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Use of Federal Funding and Regulatory Flexibilities


The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the financial and operational pressures on small rural hospitals, including Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs). Many of these hospitals were under financial stress prior to the advent of COVID-19. In the first few months of the pandemic, the federal government passed a number of funding bills to respond to the COVID-19 crisis as well as regulatory flexibilities in an attempt to ease the burden on hospitals. This policy brief describes how CAHs have used these federal funds and waivers, using data collected through a survey of CAH CEOs in eight states with high COVID-19 prevalence rates in rural counties.


COVID-19 Finance