Critical Access Hospital (CAH) can opt out of Medicare quality measures, including those published on the Hospital Compare website as well as those on

Critical Access Hospital (CAH) designation was established to provide rural residents local access to emergency and inpatient care. CAHs – while exempt from comparison to non-CAH hospitals – demonstrate worse outcomes. CAH hospitals show worse short-term outcomes for pneumonia, heart failure, and myocardial infarction compared to other non-CAH hospitals.


Lichtman JH, et. al., 30-Day Risk-Standardized Mortality and Readmission Rates after Ischemic Stroke in Critical Access Hospitals. Stroke; a journal of cerebral circulation. 2012;43(10):2741-2747