Announced in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, Rural Emergency Hospitals (REHs) will be a new type of Medicare provider starting January 1, 2023. REHs are meant to help address the stressed health care system of rural providers by providing an option to closure for distressed critical access hospitals (CAHs) and small rural hospitals.
Existing CAHs and rural hospitals with fewer than 50 beds will be eligible to convert to an REH. CMS is streamlining this process so that this conversion to be an REH can be accomplished through a change of information on an existing Medicare 855A enrollment rather than through a new provider application, which carries potentially significant delays and potential gaps in payment. REHs are designed to provide primarily emergency department, observation, and outpatient services. Because REHs will not provide inpatient care, an area that often creates a significant financial and operational burden on CAHs and small rural hospitals, REHs will allow locally-delivered healthcare to continue to be furnished by existing providers. Continue Reading Rural Emergency Hospitals – CY 2023 OPPS Final Rule Includes Additional Information on New Medicare Provider Type