Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program (Flex)
The Flex Program was created by Congress in 1997. It allows small hospitals to be certified as Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) and offers grants to States to help implement initiatives to strengthen the rural health care infrastructure. The grant program is administered by the Health Resources Service Administration’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. HRSA is a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
In West Virginia, the Flex Program is administered by the West Virginia Hospital Association/Healthcare Education Foundation/Critical Access Hospital Network.
Small Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP)
The SHIP program is designed to help small rural hospitals of 49 beds or less, to do any or all of the following: 1) enable the purchase of equipment and/or training to help hospitals attain value-based purchasing provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA); 2) aid small rural hospitals in joining or becoming accountable care organizations, or create shared savings programs per the ACA; and 3) enable small rural hospitals to purchase health information technology, equipment, and/or training to comply with meaningful use, ICD-10 standards, and payment bundling.
Each State Office of Rural Health (SORH) submits an application to HRSA on behalf of eligible hospital applicants in its state. The SORH is the official award recipient of record and serves as fiscal intermediary for all eligible hospitals within the state.
For more information on Hospital Support Programs through WVSORH, contact Lisa Lewis, Hospital Programs Manager