Flex (Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Grant Program)

The North Dakota Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) Program is a state based partnership that works with and assists all rural hospitals to stabilize and sustain their local healthcare infrastructure. Flex is a companion to the Critical Access Hospital (CAH) designation process. Hospitals receive CAH designation from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Overview

Program Purpose
The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 created the Medicare State Rural Hospital Flexibility Program. The purpose of the program is to assist rural hospitals and to improve access to health services in rural communities. The Flex program provides funding to States for the designation of Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) in rural communities. CAH conversion can allow for enhanced service diversification and combines potentially improved (cost-based) reimbursement with savings from relaxed operating requirements to help ensure the financial viability of participating hospitals.

Program Mission
The Flex Program helps to sustain the rural healthcare infrastructure by strengthening critical access hospitals thereby maintaining access to care for rural residents. By applying the components of Flex (State Rural Health Plan,conversion to critical access hospital, network development, quality improvement and emergency medical services integration initiatives), the program fosters the growth and sustainment of rural collaborative healthcare systems across the continuum of care.

Most Recent Publications

  • North Dakota Hospital Assessment: 2014 Chartbook
    Schroeder, S., Hart, G., Gibbens, B., Dickson, L., Peterson, M. & Ahmed, A. December 2014
    This Chartbook presents the findings of the 2014 survey of hospitals in North Dakota. This resource does not provide analysis or discussion of the results, but instead, offers a graphic discourse on the current hospital environment in the state. Output includes aggregate data stratified by geographic region (Northwest, Northeast, Southeast, Southwest) and hospital type (CAH or tertiary).
  • What is a Community Health Center?
    Morin, K. & Barclay, M.
    North Dakota Medicine, Volume 38 Issue 3 Pages 20-23, October 2013
    Non-profit community-driven clinics provide high-quality primary and preventive care to all individuals, with or without insurance and regardless of their ability to pay.
  • North Dakota Rural Hospitals and Emergency Medical Services Collaboration
    Miller, M., & Gibbens, B. March 2012
    Results of a survey amongst North Dakota's 36 CAHs and their relationship with local EMS providers. Part of a series of fact sheets on Critical Access Hospitals and the North Dakota Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) Program.
  • CAH Financial Conditions and Concerns
    Miller, M., & Gibbens, B. March 2012
    Summarizes the current financial status of North Dakota CAHs. Part of a series of fact sheets on Critical Access Hospitals and the North Dakota Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) Program.
  • Hospital Networks
    Miller, M., & Gibbens, B. March 2012
    Discusses hospital networks. Part of a series of fact sheets on Critical Access Hospitals and the North Dakota Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) Program.

Most Recent Presentations