Technical Assistance and Services Center

Serving Critical Access Hospitals and Flex Programs

Critical access hospitals (CAHs) in the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) Program play an essential role in sustaining rural health care. Since 1999, the Technical Assistance and Services Center (TASC), a program of The Center, has provided information, tools and education to CAHs and to individual state Flex Programs.

Created in 1999, TASC has supported the conversion of over 1,300 prospective payment hospitals to CAH status through a cooperative agreement with the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP).

To evaluate the impact of the Flex Program, FORHP also supports the Flex Monitoring Team. The Flex Monitoring Team is a consortium of three university-based rural health research centers in Minnesota, North Carolina and Maine. The Flex Monitoring Team aims to improve the accessibility, viability and quality of health care for rural residents and communities through their evaluation. Resources available include analysis summaries, state- and national-level CAH data, the national database of CAHs, presentations, findings and policy briefs on the core areas of the Flex Program.

As the majority of eligible hospitals have converted to CAH status, TASC supports the 45 participating state Flex Programs as they help CAHs in their state to address:

  • Quality Improvement (MBQIP) (required)
  • Operational and Financial Improvement (required)
  • Population Health Improvement (optional)
  • Rural Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Improvement (optional)
  • Innovative Model Development (optional)
  • CAH Designation (required if requested)

The goal of TASC is to provide direct and timely information that is easy for Flex Programs to use. With a comprehensive network of rural health resources, TASC offers a variety of communication tools, education and technical assistance services.




For more information, please contact Tracy Morton at (218) 727-9390 ext. 227 or

This project is/was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UB1RH24206, Information Services to Rural Hospital Flexibility Program Grantees, $1,560,000 (0% financed with nongovernmental sources). This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.