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

Even with good, efficient planning, the capital development process for critical access hospitals (CAHs) and rural health clinics (RHCs) can take more than two years from initial project concept to completion. The length and complexity of the process speak to the importance of preplanning to develop a clear, well thought out concept. In April 2015, the National Rural Health Resource Center (The Center) distributed an online capital needs assessment to all 50 State Offices of Rural Health and 45 Rural Hospital Medicare Flexibility Programs with the request to forward the assessment to RHCs and CAHs in their states. Responses were received from eighty-six (86) CAHs, twenty-nine (29) RHCs and one hundred twenty (120) respondents that are both CAHs and RHCs. Seventy-three percent of CAH respondents identified near-term projects were planned, compared to only 18 percent of RHCs. The number of projects per facility ranged from one to five or more.

In response to the challenges, the following resources have been made available. Capital Link developed a guide, toolkit and webinars to evaluate organizational readiness to begin the capital project development process, with the goal of helping rural organizations avoid the pitfalls that insufficiently planned projects can encounter.