2018 CAH Recognition Nomination

The nomination period is closed.

The Technical Assistance and Services Center (TASC), a program of the National Rural Health Resource Center, is accepting nominations for public recognition of critical access hospitals (CAHs) throughout the United States. CAH Recognition is supported by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP). The previous seven CAH Recognition nomination periods were for CAHs demonstrating excellence and innovation in the areas of quality, community engagement, financial turnaround, value-based health care models, care coordination, emergency medical services (EMS) and behavioral and mental health. This round of recognition is focused on innovative telehealth initiatives that are worthy of recognition because of their impact on population health.


The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) defines telehealth as, “the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support and promote long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration.” In addition to remote video conferencing, telehealth can come in other forms such as mobile health communication (mHealth), remote patient monitoring (RPM) and store and forward transmission of medical information.

According to a 2012 document by the Institute of Medicine, The Role of Telehealth in an Evolving Health Care Environment, telehealth drives volume, increases the quality of care and reduces cost by reducing readmissions and unnecessary emergency department visits for rural communities. Telehealth allows small rural hospitals to continue providing quality care at low cost. Also, rural patients receiving care via telehealth can avoid driving long distances to access specialty care.

Innovation to Address Challenges

Telehealth-supported programs offer new methods for improving health care access and quality by extending the reach of health care services, improving the ability of rural providers to address a broader range of medical conditions, and facilitating collaboration between professionals with limited access to their colleagues.

Using telehealth to provide specialty services is often times more feasible for rural health care facilities than staffing the facilities with specialist providers. Telehealth allows specialists to visit rural patients virtually, improving access to health care as well as offering a wide range of specialty care to rural communities via telemedicine, including radiology, dermatology, oncology, obstetrics and more.

    For the purpose of this CAH recognition certificate, we are seeking CAHs that have taken innovative steps to actively integrate telehealth initiatives that have had an impact on population health. We invite you to participate in this recognition process.

    Nomination Criteria

    The goals of this CAH Recognition initiative are to recognize CAHs for their accomplishments related to innovative telehealth models or initiatives and to share your involvement, as a state Flex Program, in supporting these initiatives now and in the future. If you have a CAH that is embracing telehealth as a way of impacting population health and your Flex Program has supported them in the process, please consider nominating them for this recognition. We want to hear your story and provide recognition for your continued work with your CAHs. Additional insight related to resources and models and innovative approaches to telehealth can be found in the related resources listed below.

    Related resources:

    Scoring Criteria

    The strongest nominations will tell a compelling story of the integration of innovative telehealth initiatives that have had an impact on population health, providing examples of documentation, an explanation of current or future state Flex Program involvement and description of how the outcomes of the initiatives are measured to assess effectiveness. 

    • Well-written, compelling background on why the hospital implemented the initiative(s) to improve population health through telemedicine, including an overview of how the need was identified (0-3 points)
    • Describe the initiative and how the hospital is using telehealth to improve population health (0-2 points)
    • Clear description, including 2-5 qualitative and/or quantitative outcomes, that explains how the hospital has assessed that the initiative is successfully meeting community needs and improving population health (0-5 points)
    • A clear description of how the state Flex Program supported the CAH in the implementation of their initiative (0-2 points)

     Examples of Documentation to Support a Nomination

    • Meeting minutes from a workgroup or team
    • CAH, state and/or Flex program website information supporting the telehealth initiative(s)
    • Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) related to the innovative telehealth initiative(s) between agencies
    • Documentation showing current collaborative/innovative plans related to the telehealh initiative currently being implemented
    • Proof of additional funding sought for the advancement of innovative telehealth initiative(s)

    Flex Program Presentation of Recognition Certificate

    If your nominated CAH(s) are chosen to be recognized, TASC will mail you a certificate for your CAH. We ask that you do the following:

    • Announce the news! Call the hospital’s CEO, notify her/him they are a certificate recipient and schedule a time with them to present the hospital personally with the certificate
    • TASC will provide you a template press release. Use it to highlight the CAH as appropriate in your state and share it with the hospital so that they can customize it to share their success with their local media sources.
    • Send TASC a few photos, such as the staff holding the certificate, of you presenting it to them, etc. to include in the TASC e-newsletter, Rural Route and on the CAH Recognition spotlight webpage
    • Collect a quote from the hospital on what this recognition means to them. TASC will include this as well in Rural Route and on the CAH Recognition spotlight webpage.

    Nominate a Hospital

    The nomination period is closed. Please contact Shannon Norman at sgreely@ruralcenter.org or (218) 216-7039 with any questions.

    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, $1,100,000 (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.