Top 20 critical access hospitals by discharges

Accidents can happen anywhere. If you ever unexpectedly need urgent medical care in a rural area, hundreds of miles from a major medical center, you’ll be grateful for the establishment of critical access hospitals (CAHs). A critical access hospital provides essential access to high-quality healthcare in rural communities.

Definitive Healthcare tracks more than 7,300 hospitals in our HospitalView product. Using those data, we reviewed the number of patient discharges for more than 1,350 critical access hospitals. The average number of discharges for these hospitals was 394.

Check out the following list to learn about the CAHs with the most discharges.

Critical access hospitals with the most discharges

Rank Hospital Name City State Discharges # Staffed Beds
1 Hudson Hospital Hudson WI 2,884 25
2 Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial Fremont MI 2,051 25
3 Astria Sunnyside Hospital Sunnyside WA 2,005 25
4 Moore County Hospital District Dumas TX 1,989 19
5 Bingham Memorial Hospital Blackfoot ID 1,889 25
6 Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital St Johnsbury VT 1,737 25
7 Spectrum Health Pennock Hastings MI 1,688 25
8 Missouri Baptist Sullivan Hospital Sullivan MO 1,675 25
9 Cobre Valley Regional Medical Center Globe AZ 1,662 25
10 Adventist Health Howard Memorial Willits CA 1,651 25
11 St Thomas More Hospital Canon City CO 1,642 25
12 Ridgecrest Regional Hospital Ridgecrest CA 1,632 25
13 Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital Hollister CA 1,599 25
14 OSF St Francis Hospital Escanaba MI 1,593 25
15 Uvalde Memorial Hospital Uvalde TX 1,588 21
16 Copley Hospital Morrisville VA 1,574 25
17 Sutter Lakeside Hospital Lakeport CA 1,568 25
18 Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital Lebanon OR 1,563 25
19 CHI St Alexius Health Williston Medical Center Williston ND 1,555 25
20 Decatur County Memorial Hospital Greensburg IN 1,536 25

Fig. 1  Data is from the Definitive Healthcare HospitalView product and sourced from CMS data and proprietary research. Data accurate as of July 2022.

Which critical access hospital has the most discharges?

The average number of discharges from the top 20 CAHs was 1,754. Hudson Hospital in Wisconsin leads the list for highest number of discharges with 2,884.

As expected from their rural locations, discharges at these CAHs only represent about 6.6% of total discharges from the over 1,350 critical access hospitals across the United States.

While 90% of the top 20 critical access hospitals by discharges have a maximum of 25 staffed beds, Uvalde Memorial Hospital in Uvalde, Texas is one of two Texas CAHs on our list with fewer than 25 staffed beds. Tragically, the rapid access to emergency healthcare provided by CAHs demonstrated its value in May 2022 when 15 victims from the Robb Elementary School shooting were taken to Uvalde Memorial Hospital for care.

What are critical access hospitals?

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) certifies eligible hospitals across the United States as CAHs to improve access to healthcare in underserved areas and reduce the financial exposure of rural hospitals. In general, critical access hospitals are facilities that:

  • Have fewer than 25 acute care inpatient beds
  • Are located more than 35 miles from the nearest hospital (or 15 miles by mountain or secondary roads)
  • Maintain an average stay of 96 hours or less
  • Must provide 24-hour emergency care services seven days a week

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