Sidney Health Center named a “Top 100 Critical Access Hospital” for 2017
March 24, 2017

The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) recently announced the names of the Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) in America for 2017 and among the list was Sidney Health Center. 

“It’s quite an honor to be named in the Top100 again this year. I believe it says a lot about the staff across our organization who are dedicated to providing the best possible care to our patients and residents,” stated Rick Haraldson, Sidney Health Center CEO. 

Currently, there are more than 1,300 Critical Access Hospitals across the nation. Eleven Montana and seven North Dakota facilities made the list this year. Sidney Health Center is among a small percentage of facilities nationwide to make the list multiple years – five times in the last seven years. 

Sidney Health Center scored in the top 100 of Critical Access Hospitals on iVantage Health Analytics’ Hospital Strength INDEX®. The INDEX is the industry’s most comprehensive rating of rural providers. It provides the data foundation for the annual Rural Relevance Study and its results are the basis for many of rural healthcare’s most prominent awards, advocacy efforts and legislative initiatives. 

The Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals play a key role in providing a safety net to communities across America – and the INDEX measures them across eight pillars of hospital strength: Inpatient Share Ranking, Outpatient Share Ranking, Cost, Charge, Quality, Outcomes, Patient Perspectives, and Financial Stability. 

A Critical Access Hospital is a hospital certified to receive cost-based reimbursement for Medicare. The reimbursement that these hospitals receive is intended to improve their financial performance and thereby reduce hospital closures. Sidney Health Center received the Critical Access Hospital designation in 2005. 

Critical Access Hospital requirements are very similar to general acute care hospitals. One of the main differences is the inpatient bed count. Critical Access Hospitals may have up to 25 acute care inpatient beds. For hospitals with swing bed agreements, any of its beds may be used for either inpatient acute care or swing bed services. 

Critical Access Hospitals must provide 24-hour emergency services, with medical staff on-site; or on-call and available on-site within a designated amount of time. 

Although the cost-based reimbursement is advantageous, it may not keep a hospital financially sound. Each hospital must perform its own financial analysis and continue to look for ways to be sustainable in the long-term. 

The Hospital Strength Index is a wonderful tool to help identify the top performing hospitals that have a safety net in place to help withstand the reduction in reimbursement funds available now and in the future. 

The list of the Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals and more information about the study can be found at