American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Other Federal Legislative Issues

Critical Access Hospitals

The Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) 96-hour rule creates a condition of payment requiring that a physician certify that a patient can reasonably be expected to be discharged or transferred within 96 hours. CAHs must already meet a separate condition of participation, which requires that acute inpatient care provided to patients not exceed 96 hours per patient on an average annual basis. While the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in its fiscal year 2018 Medicare Inpatient Prospective Payment System final rule made the 96-hour rule a low priority for medical record reviews, the ACS strongly believes that a statutory fix is needed to fully repeal this certification requirement.

The ACS supports H.R. 1041, the Critical Access Hospital Relief Act, legislation that would remove the 96-hour physician certification requirement as a condition of payment for inpatient critical access hospital (CAH) services under Medicare.

ACS Letter of Support for H.R. 1041, the Critical Access Hospital Relief Act


ACS Resources to Address Surgical Patient Opioid Use