Are You Ready to Begin a Capital Project? A Guide, Toolkit and Resources for CAHs and RHCs

National Rural Health Resource Center (The Center)

The capital development process for critical access hospitals (CAHs) and rural health clinics (RHCs) can take two to three years from initial project concept to completion. The length and complexity of the process speak to the importance of pre-planning to develop a clear, well-thought-out concept. Your project concept must be clear to the entire organization and Board, or you will be unsuccessful in conveying its benefits to the community and potential funders. Project ideas that have not been vetted through or accepted by the community can get derailed. Also, capital projects that are overbuilt for the demand for care in the service area can result in financial destabilization.

The purpose of this document is to provide both a guide and useful tools to evaluate organizational readiness to begin the capital project development process, with the goal of helping your organization avoid the pitfalls that insufficiently planned projects can encounter.